Tips for Sticking Success

Whether you are new to pump therapy or have experienced pumping in the summer months, there are some things you can do to prevent losing your infusion set or sensor placement due to moisture. The following are site care tips for everyday living.

Infusion set care:

If you find that you are occasionally losing infusion sites, make sure you are using an IV prep™ pad which leaves a sticky substance on the skin, then try placing an IV 3000™ dressing (Smith & Nephew) under the infusion set. This is called the “sandwiching” technique. If you are using an insertion device to place your set, you will need to cut a hole in the middle of the dressing before inserting the infusion set. If you are placing your infusion set manually, you can insert the needle through the dressing and stick it down. If you continue to lose infusion sets from sweat, you may try using a roll on antiperspirant (fragrance and powder free) on your desired site a day prior to inserting the infusion set.

Sensor and transmitter

If you are using the Paradigm REAL Time pump with the sensor, you are adhering both the sensor and the transmitter portion of the system to your body as well. For each sensor change, you require 2 pieces of IV 3000 dressing and one transmitter adhesive pad.

  • Prepare your skin using alcohol or just soap and water.
  • Allow to dry thoroughly.
  • Insert the sensor.
  • Using an IV prep pad or Skin Tac™, run the pad around the surface of the skin surrounding the already in place sensor.
  • Briefly allow to dry, connect the transmitter, and then place the IV 3000 dressings over the area. Use one horizontally over the sensor site and the other placed vertically. If needed, these dressings can be re-secured at the edges using Skin Tac or carefully peeled off and re-applied while securing the sensor with a finger. This may be a better approach than adding more tape to an already lifting site.

In terms of the transmitter adhesive pad, though very strong, it may cause skin irritation if left in place more than 2 days due to normal moisture build up under the surface of the plastic disk. Consider that the transmitter can be slightly “rotated” around the sensor site in order to give the skin under it a chance to breathe. The easiest way to move the transmitter is if it is over a piece of IV 3000 dressing which is easier to separate from the skin than the transmitter adhesive pad alone. You may cut one piece of the dressing in half or use a full piece under the transmitter adhesive pad. Some people choose to tuck the transmitter in to their waistband instead of sticking it onto their skin. This is fine as long as the sensor site itself is well taped down or you will risk having a sensor dislodgement. When considering the placement of your transmitter, remember that you may have to move it before removing your sensor, so don’t stick the transmitter adhesive down onto the IV 3000 which is holding your sensor.

The following skin products are available for purchase through Medtronic Diabetes Canada:

  • MMT-134A
    $ 76.00
  • MMT-172
    $ 26.00
  • MMT-173
    $ 18.50
  • MMT-174
    IV 3000, TRANSPARENT DRESSING 6 x 7 cm (100/bx)
    $ 48.00
  • TOR-MS407W
    $ 20.99
  • 1624W
    TEGADERM (Latex Free), TRANSPARENT DRESSING 6 x 7 cm (100/bx)
    $ 48.00
  • 403120
    $ 24.00

Other tips:

  • There are many different adhesive products on the market. Talk to your pump nurse about other options if you find that you continue to have problems.
  • Do not use lotions or oils on the area you are planning to use tape.
  • Use a dissolving agent such as “goo gone” available at Wal mart or “Unisolve” to remove any adhesive residue. Make sure to cleanse this area after using adhesive dissolving agents as they can irritate the skin if left on.
  • Stretch the skin slightly while applying the adhesives.

Do you have a skin care tip? Share it with us by e-mailing your tip to:

by Jill Milliken RN CDE