Refilling reservoirs and tubing!

Ok so I’ve been on 670g for a year now and doing everything I’m told to do. I use 20 units a day. And have been filling my reservoir every 3 days with approx 80 units each time and using new tubing every 3 days as well.
Was wondering how many of you fill your reservoirs completely and just change your site every 3-4 days using the same tubing. Is this a no no, how long should one set of tubing last? Just wondering…

Are you saying the tubing is separate from the part with the cannula that gets inserted? I didn’t realize there were infusion sets like that. I sometimes fill my cartridges, then just change out the tubing and site every three days. I don’t find it’s more efficient. They used to say the inside of the tubing could get “sticky” and restrict insulin flow. I don’t know if that’s true.

I’m using Mio infusion sets, I would be discarding the tubing and reconnecting to the tubing attached to reservoir. That’s not efficient I know. But would save me filling reservoirs, rewinding etc. Makes me sound lazy but I’m not :yum: just wondered what others do with regards to a reservoir that’s always on red!! I was wondering how long the tubing is good for. Thanks Mike!:+1:

Hi Helen @Kiwigirl, as I understand your question, my answer is “yes” but on a very limited basis. Previously I’ve had three different model MiniMed [Medtronic] pumps and used the 1.8 ml reservoirs which after priming I had about 75 to 80 units of insulin. Occasionally if I expected to be in an awkward situation on the third day - I use about 22 units per day - I would put more insulin in the reservoir and change only the infusion set / site on the third day; just disconnecting at infusion site and reconnecting the tubing to the new infusion. Just remember to do the cannula fill. One model Medtronic infusion set has a choice of ordering with or without tubing.
Recently with my new Tandem t-Slim, I put close to 300 units in the cartridge before I set off on a trip involving four flights in five days. I’ve had practice inserting infusion sets during flight. I like my new t-Slim but filling the Tandem cartridges is a real pain - so far, the only negative I’ve found in the three months I’ve had the pump.
Mike @mikefarley, I remember several years ago a discussion about Humalog “crystallizing” in the tubing and causing obstructions. I don’t think that has happened to me - but I’ve always stay aware of that as the Florida summer heat approaches.

I have friends with Tandem pumps. Filling them up all the way is what they do.

Any saving of our time and effort is good!

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Hi Dennis, hey thanks for all the info, that’s kind if what I wanted to know, can I or an I not do this on a regular basis ? I guess it’s great for long trips and I will do that when I fly home to NZ this Christmas!
It seems a waste of reservoir not to use it all!! I am thinking of changing to the T slim when I can with insurance. Apart from the annoying reservoir issue you like it?, the sensors last longer? I think the medtronic is way too big and bulky especially for us gals!! What’s wrong with the reservoirs?
Whats ur trick with infusion set insertion on flights??
Thanks for your response!

Hah! No worries of heat here in Seattle!!!

I’ve been using insulin pumps for slightly over 25 years now. One item I used to get that may or may not be available, depending on what brand of cannula set you use, was a Combo Pack with 5 hoses and 10 infusion bases. So after three days I would load in a new cartridge with the old hose into a new infusion base. Always worked well and seemed sensible.
Now, as far as brands go I’ve used infusion sets made (originally) by Maersk, which are now made by UnoMedical, though these have always come under various brand names" Comfort, Silhouette (Medtronic), Tender 1 (10 infusion bases) or 2 (5 infusion bases) (Accu-Chek), or Varisoft (Tandem, with T-Lok connector).
Saves a little money, and doesn’t put so much plastic scrap in the landfill.

Helen, I really like the Tandem t-Slim and I highly recommend it. One very important feature is the ability to upgrade, as new features are developed, through the internet. I used this argument with my insurance company which has an exclusive contract to approve only Medtronic pumps. I suppose that filling the cartridge “isn’t that bad”, but it isn’t simple like the old Medtronic reservoirs for the 500 series pumps.
No real ‘trick’ in placing a new infusion set on my belly while in flight - just alert the person seated next to you that you need take care of a “medical issue [emergency]”. My first time was an emergency - someone had accidentally pulled one off me while boarding. Now it is not so much the long flights but rather that I like to practice KISS, "Keep it simple " when away.
Like you, I like to use every drop of the insulin I put in a cartridge or reservoir and I have thought about also conserving my use of cartridges by filling them to the point where they will service multiple infusion sets. There are several people on blog sites I use that promote that, as well as reusing tubing. I always thought it to be a shame that I’m throwing out something that is CLEAN and perfectly good.
Enjoy your long flight[s] eight months from now; my kiwi friends come here every Christmas - his 97 year old mother lives next door to us.

Hi, @Kiwigirl - I see nobody has touched on this at all, which is surprising, but I’ve heard from Tandem’s technical support as well as Medtronic trainers that it is definitely a no-no to keep using a reservoir with insulin in it past 3 days. I was told that insulin in a plastic reservoir starts to break down after the 3rd day which will make your BG run high.

I was conflicted by that the first time I heard it from Tandem’s technical support since my trainer for that device said something about filling up that reservoir all the way and just changing out the infusion set at the 3-day mark. It did make sense after hearing it since there was a trend of high BG pretty consistently after 3 days using the pre-filled reservoir.

I would ask that you please call your device’s customer support line and ask them that question since they would be the experts. Honestly, from my experience I would definitely NOT recommend it.

It isn’t a waste of a reservoir if you’re getting your supply through insurance and there are always customer assistance programs from any vendor if the cost is prohibitive.

Here is a link from Medtronic’s Australia & New Zealand customer support page: If you’re in the U.S. just call 800-633-8766

Thanks for your response, I have discussed this with my Dr and will continue to change tubing as I have been doing! Thanks :+1::blush:

60 years type 1 gastroperisis, ostio and rumitoid arthritis, glaucoma, Alzheimer’s, weak heart, 4 heart attacks, 2 strokes, other than that it all ok

I may be stretching it, but I fill my reservoirs to the max and use them until they run out. The Medtronic method of calculating may have some value i don’t understand, but it would seem more value to them as you need to buy more supplies. I also realized that I am using the long (43") tubing for the Medtronic pump, which holds a reasonable amount of insulin (10-15 units). I change out the reservoir, but use the previous tube for 5-6 times, saving 60-90 units of insulin. I spend less in insulin costs this way.

Like you, I have periodic trips Down Under (Australia and New Zealand) and if I am concerned about running out of insulin on the flight, I load a reservoir before travel and can do a quick switch if needed. It prevents a lot of juggling of supplies, vials, and the pump.