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Thread: How do you keep air bubbles out of the tubing?

  1. #1

    Default How do you keep air bubbles out of the tubing?

    For the last two nights straight, I have been up every 1.5 hours, every time the alarm goes off on Jayden's pump, to treat a high. It hasn't ever been crazy high...usually it's hung around 220 or so. I give insulin (we're using Apidra, so I can give it more frequently), go back to bed, high alarm goes off again, blood sugar hasn't budged.

    During the wee hours of this morning, I gave a Humalog injection, put Emla on her for a site change thinking it had to be the site, and went back to bed for a bit. Got up to change out the site, and when I held up the tubing, there were huge pockets of air all throughout the tubing. I have never had air bubbles in there before. That has to be what has caused this grief. I re-primed the tubing and it took extra insulin to prime due to the air bubbles.

    What can you do to keep the air bubbles out of the tubing? Is it a bad connection to the reservoir that allows them in the first place? How often do you check your tubing for air bubbles?
    Jennifer D in NC
    Wife to John, my high school sweetheart, and mom of:
    Joshua , 20
    Joseph, 18
    and Jayden, 15, dx 12/28/07 T1D, Pod People as of 05/14/2011,Novolog

  2. #2

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    I check for bubbles before meals and before bed. I read in the Pumping Insulin book that if you relubricate the o-rings in the reservoir before filling it with insulin (by moving the plunger all the way to the top and back a couple times) it helps to cut back on the bubbles. I also make absolutely sure that I don't even have champagne bubbles in there before I put it into the pump.

    My basal rate is low enough overnight that if I don't have any bubbles in the length of exposed tubing, then I won't have to worry about it. If I can see a bubble at all, though, I'll prime it out before going to bed, just in case.
    Dxd Type 1: 09/1996 at age 14
    Apidra in Animas 2020 pump;
    My Basal Rate: 0.200u/hr
    A1c: 7.2 (07/2010)
    Proud mommy of:
    Patrick age 8, non-D
    William age 3, non-D

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by hypercarmona View Post
    I read in the Pumping Insulin book that if you relubricate the o-rings in the reservoir before filling it with insulin (by moving the plunger all the way to the top and back a couple times) it helps to cut back on the bubbles. I also make absolutely sure that I don't even have champagne bubbles in there before I put it into the pump.
    I've never heard anyone mention this before, but it's something I was advised to do and I always, always do and we almost never have a problem with bubbles so maybe it's one of the keys??
    Sarah
    Mom to DD now 16, dx @4
    Cozmo pumper @6
    Minimed pumper @13
    G4 @ 15


    "Happy Birthday, Dr. Banting! Now... let's eat cake! Because, we CAN!" - MCS

  4. #4

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    I do that too - every single time. Our pump trainer told us to do that to avoid the bubbles. I am thinking it has to be the seal between the reservoir and the tubing. Some of them feel tighter than others - that "click" feels more secure.

    In 18 months we've never had air bubbles that I have seen until last night. Grrrr.
    Jennifer D in NC
    Wife to John, my high school sweetheart, and mom of:
    Joshua , 20
    Joseph, 18
    and Jayden, 15, dx 12/28/07 T1D, Pod People as of 05/14/2011,Novolog

  5. #5

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    Also, we've found that if the tubing gets "stretched" by having the pump drop or set it down too far from the site, we find bubbles in the tubing.

    Other times, it just seems to happen on its own.

    What a bummer. I hope your child is feeling well today and that you can get some sleep.
    Eileen
    Eileen
    mom of:
    ...Calder - 18 - dx'd 10/1/08 pumping with a blue Ping as of 4/2/09; Celiac dx'd 7/23/09

  6. #6

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    We relubricate the rings, as stated above. We also fill the reservoir at the same time as we put the EMLA on, and let it sit upright on the counter for the half hour or so it is working. We also tap the hell out of it with a pen to get all the tiny little bubbles to the top so that they will be primed out.

    I can't remember the last time we saw a bubble with that method. I do also check the tubing at bathtime every night. Jack uses a small enough amount of insulin that by doing that, I'm pretty well assured of there not being any bubbles that night and the next day.
    Mom to J., age 10
    Dx 2007 @ age 3
    Medtronic pump and CGM (4/2008-6/2013)
    Tandem t:slim and Dexcom G4 CGM (current)
    CGM in the Cloud 7/2014

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Rockford, IL
    Posts
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeyegirl View Post
    We relubricate the rings, as stated above. We also fill the reservoir at the same time as we put the EMLA on, and let it sit upright on the counter for the half hour or so it is working. We also tap the hell out of it with a pen to get all the tiny little bubbles to the top so that they will be primed out.
    I also make sure i hold the pump so the reservoir is right side up so when I prime, any air in the reservoir is at the top and will go out first. Good luck
    Deb mom to Grace age 12 T1 dxd 10/30/08
    Pumping Medtronic Minimed since 5/19/09
    Beau 18 HLHS, pacemaker

  8. #8

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    Good idea on the priming...I'll try that with it right side up. I am soooo tired today. I'm at work,and yawning five times an hour! I do ok with a night here and there of being up all night, but two in a row and I am toast!

    Thanks for all the suggestions. This is the only time I have ever wished for an Omnipod, LOL!
    Jennifer D in NC
    Wife to John, my high school sweetheart, and mom of:
    Joshua , 20
    Joseph, 18
    and Jayden, 15, dx 12/28/07 T1D, Pod People as of 05/14/2011,Novolog

  9. #9

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    We were also told that the reservoir should be higher than the pump when you prime. I don't know exactly why, but I always do it that way. Maybe I should find out the reason, instead of blindly doing it!

    (That reminds me of a story my co-worker told me. Her husband always insisted that she unplug the TV when she vaccumed, because that's what his mother always did. Finally my co-worker asked his mom why she unplugged the TV when she vacuumed. She replied, "Because I only had one outlet in that room." )
    Mom to J., age 10
    Dx 2007 @ age 3
    Medtronic pump and CGM (4/2008-6/2013)
    Tandem t:slim and Dexcom G4 CGM (current)
    CGM in the Cloud 7/2014

  10. #10

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    I've found with our animas we have a area where syringe connects to tubing that the bubbles seem to get trapped in.

    when I connect the tubing to syringe I take pencil or whatever and tap the bubbles out. tap a little and try to manually push them up into tubing. I waste a lot of insulin this way, but I'm usually able to not have that big bubble at top of syringe

    I've also heard that summer time is big time for bubbles.
    something about going in cold ac and then going out into hot weather.

    and then how do you fill the insulin syringe up? don't push air up into a insulin bottle thats turned over.-that can cause little champagne bubbles.
    what i mean is with bottle on table put the air in. hold plunger down and flip over and pull insulin out

    I still get bubbles though. maybe not as much.
    Frannie Fran Fran


    Megan 21
    Sara 17
    dx 9/9/05
    MM Revel 8/10


    we don't use CGMS cause we're waiting for the kindler gentler insertion sets-let me know when they get to The States

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