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Tissue damage and steel cannulas

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by shannong, Sep 5, 2014.

  1. shannong

    shannong Approved members

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    My son has been using the steel cannulas for about a year now. I have loved them because there has been no kinking in the cannula which was a major problem with the straight teflon sites. However, the down side is that they cause more tissue damage than the teflon cannulas. I also can only rotate them though the upper bum area because any pressure on them hurts my son. We save the stomach area for Dexcom sites. Anyway, I think I am not getting good absorption these days from most sites due to overuse. Has anyone else found that the steel cannulas cause more tissue damage? I think I need to switch again :blue:
     
  2. momof1CWDinohio

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    Sorry to hear this. We've been thinking of using steel cannulas bc of too many failed sites. Too bad they seem to cause more tissue damage. I hadn't heard that before.

    One thought to help- give the bum a break and switch to belly for awhile for pump sites. We were doing the same as you for awhile - pump on bum and Dex on belly. This summer, we tried Dex on upper arm (he was very reluctant at first but with Emla to numb it, no complaints at all and we've found the numbers very very reliable) and moved pump to belly to give the bum a break. Gives us a little more real estate to work with and time for the sites to rest. Just a thought.
     
  3. 321

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    I would like to agree to give bum a rest, if my memory serves correct it takes 3 months for the sites to heal completely so you could then return to bum.
    Can I add for pain we use Derma numb, tattoo anaesthetic. Still get the odd one that hurts, but much much better.
     
  4. dpr

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    I actually think the Teflon cannulas do more damage. We used steel for about 2 years and then thought the same as you or that possibly she was reacting to the steel so we went to Teflon sets. After 3 months of Teflon (and we tried every set they had) the places where a Teflon cannula came out of had much larger "dots" that took a MUCH longer time to heal and go away. After 3 kinked cannulas with DKA and the larger slow healing "dots" we went back to steel. It turns out the earlier problems we were having with the steel sets were area over use problems. I forced the issue of new areas for sites and all our problems went away. We've been back on steel for about 5 months and I don't plan on ever going back to Teflon. 6.5% A1C a week ago.
     
  5. Ali

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    I wondered about the comment that steel sets resulted in more scar tissue also. I have no idea but have never heard this. I have only heard that the length of time you leave a set in at one spot determines scar tissues issues. I do not know if if its the insulin going in to one spot or the type of set, I have heard both theories. Any one know anything definitive I would love to hear. I use steel sets and change by at least the third day and often before. I am 40 years in to shots and sets and have no obvious scar tissue issues but do know I have absorption issues, so probably some scar tissue in there even if not obvious.
    ALi
     
  6. shannong

    shannong Approved members

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    I talked with a technical support person at Animas about this issue. She said that the steel cannulas are supposed to be changed every 2 days. She said something about steel being harder on the tissues in the body and thus they want you changing more frequently. She said that with changes every 2 days (ie. proper use) they do not cause more scar tissue per se. She did say that many people with scar tissue have to use steel cannulas because of poor absorption. Based on my son's experience, I do believe that steel seems to cause more tissue damage. This could be because he is 8 years old and probably frequently hits his sites when jumping, playing, falling, etc. On the other hand, I suspected in the past that he had some kind of allergic reaction to teflon so they may not be an option for us. It's never easy! I suppose everyone's body may have different reactions to different types of sites.
     
  7. StillMamamia

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    We've only used steel ones, and have not had any problems, so far (7 years almost). Could be an individual thing. Have you tried putting a barrier between the adhesive and the skin. Could he actually be reacting to the adhesive and not to the steel needle? Just a thought.
     
  8. MEVsmom

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    WE have only used steel canulas so I have no comparision really, but I was just speaking to my husband over the weekend about how long you can see the dots after she has taken the site out. What is the normal amount of time that you ought to be able to see it? For example, she used her tummy a few weeks ago for a couple of sites and I can still see exactly where they were. We change them out at two days so it shouldn't be that.
     
  9. rgcainmd

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    My daughter uses OmniPod which has a relatively short teflon (I think) cannula. It takes one to three days before I can no longer see where her last site was. We change sites every three days.
     
  10. jenm999

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    We use Cleos (6mm teflon) and change every 48 hours religiously and I can still see the last 6 or 7 dots. Which makes it easy to determine a fresh spot but makes his poor tummy look pretty beat up. :(
     
  11. sszyszkiewicz

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    I dont now what these dots are (still MDI) but I hate these crummy choices we have to make. You can either hurt or child this way or that way. It just stinks.
     
  12. dshull

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    My son is also 9 and uses the Ping and Dexcom. For the first 9 months or so, we used the contact detach steel sets exclusively, and almost always on the upper bum. I stayed on top of the rotating and around the 9 month mark, we had major absorption issues. Kept increasing basals, ratios, the whole drill. Then he went to D camp for a week and saw all the kids using stomach sites and came home with some samples and an open mind. Tried on site on his tummy using the insets (NOT inset 30s) and bam, he was low, low, low all the time. Changed all the basals and ratios back; definitely an absorption issue. Saw endo around this time and they felt it was not from the sites themselves causing damage, just overuse.

    We gave the bum a two month rest and are now slowly using them again. The insets are just like the contact detach in that they are a straight set. We have not had issues with teflon, so I can't comment on that.

    If it helps, this is where we use what on our super skinny minny guy: back of the arm exclusively for dex, we use contact detach on the back of the arm and the upper bum, and insets in the belly. Thinking about trying the legs but haven't yet.
     
  13. susanlindstrom16

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    Same here. I've been wondering if there is any lotion/ magic potion I can put on them to make them go away. Our endo suggested hydrocortizone for the redness. Does anyone have anything else they use?
     

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