Introduction to infusion sets

An infusion set is a complete tubing system that delivers insulin from your Tandem pump to you. You’ll need to change it out every two to three days.

An infusion set consists of the three main components:

Infusion site and cannula—A plastic housing that attaches to your body with an adhesive patch, with a tiny, soft tube or needle placed by you just under your skin that allows insulin to flow into your body. (The TruSteel infusion set uses a 29-gauge stainless steel needle in place of a flexible cannula)

Tubing and connector needle—plastic tubing that allows insulin to flow from your insulin pump to you. The connector needle can be disconnected from the infusion site if you need to remove your pump for short periods of time.

Tubing lock connector—device that connects and locks the tubing to your insulin pump cartridge. On tandem pumps, this is called the t:lock connector.

Tubing is available in a variety of lengths, typically 23, 32, and 43 inches. The length you choose will depend on your height, where you wear your Tandem pump (inside or outside of your clothing), how you wear your pump when you sleep, and other factors related to your daily activities and preferences.

Your healthcare provider or insulin pump trainer will show you how to insert the cannula into the fatty (subcutaneous) tissue just below the skin surface. The cannula is inserted either manually or with an insertion device via an introducer needle. Once inserted, the introducer needle is removed and the soft, flexible cannula remains under your skin without causing discomfort with movement. A stainless steel needle is another option that some prefer in place of a cannula.

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Watch the video below for a quick introduction to infusion sets:

 

Cannula type

Description

Advantages

Angled

Inserted at a 30-45 degree angle. Available in lengths of 13 and 17 mm.

Stable, less risk of accidental removal. Less likely to bump up against muscle in slender people.

90 Degree

Inserted perpendicular to the skin. Available in lengths of 6 and 9 mm.

Easy to insert. Has a shorter cannula.

Stainless steel

No plastic cannula. The needle remains under the skin. Replaced every two days. Though most are 90 degree, can be angled. Available in lengths of 6 and 8 mm.

Frequently used by people with allergies to a plastic cannula. Easy to insert. Does not kink; less risk for occlusion.

 

The AutoSoft XC, AutoSoft 90, and AutoSoft 30 infusion sets come packaged in disposable insertion devices to help insert the cannula. These devices are easy to use and a popular option for those who do not want to push the needle in by hand. They are spring-loaded and are designed to hide the needle from view.

Your healthcare provider or insulin pump trainer will help you determine which infusion set is right for you. Site location preference, your body size, and your activity level will be considered when selecting an infusion set.

View more support resources for infusion sets here >

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