Considerations in Selecting
an Infusion set for Pump Therapy

There are a number of infusion sets that can be used for an insulin pump.

So how does one decide which one to use?

There are 2 basic categories of infusions sets. Those that use a universal luer lock system and those that are dedicated to Medtronic’s Paradigm line (models 511, 512 and 712)

Within these two categories there are numerous styles to select from. In selecting an infusion style, consideration should be given to these features or choices:

Needle versus cannula

  • Soft Teflon cannula sets are more popular because of their comfort and can be used for 48-72 hours. Steel needle infusion sets can be used for those who have allergic reactions to the soft cannula or experience kinking in the cannula. Steels sets are changed every 24-48 hours.

Straight (90 degrees) or angled insertion (30-45 degrees)

  • The infusion sets designed for 90 degree insertion have much shorter needles or cannula and may be a good choice for those who have needle phobia. Autoinjectors are often available for these type of sets. One disadvantage of infusion sets that use a soft cannula for straight insertion, is the increased risk of kinking the cannula.
  • Infusion sets designed for angled insertion (30-45 degrees) generally have longer cannula and are generally inserted manually however Medtronic does make an auto injector called the Sil-serter for their Silhouette infusion sets. While these sets have longer cannula, they do offer steady and reliable absorption.

Cannula and needle depth

  • The 90 degree set are available in 2-3 depths to accommodate people with different amounts of subcutaneous tissue. The angled sets have traditionally been available in the standard length of 17mm but recently, 13mm ones have been introduced.

Tubing Length

  • All infusion sets are available with tubing in at least two lengths. Generally varying from 24 inches (60cm) to 43 inches (110 cm). These lengths allow users to wear their pumps in a variety of locations.

Packaging options (can save money)

  • Some infusions set are available as combination packages. These combo packages contain some infusion sets with tubing plus others without the tubing. This allows the user to change the tubing with every other infusion set change thus saving the cost of the tubing. Users must follow the manufacturer’s instructions for correct usage of their infusion sets.

The above considerations are intended to educate insulin pumpers or potential pumpers about the options available. One should always consult and discuss these options with their pump instructor or health care practitioner before considering any change in their management.

By Tino Montopoli, Pharmacist, Certified Diabetes Educator, Insulin Pumper
Owner/manager of Stutt’s Diabetes Care Depot & Pharmacy.
Vendor of all brands of insulin pump supplies at very competitive prices
Contact : 1-888-6STUTTS (1888-678-8887) or
Order forms at