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Unclogging tubing

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by RomeoEcho, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. RomeoEcho

    RomeoEcho Approved members

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    I haven't been around lately due to a job change and moving, but I could use some help.

    Has anyone ever been able to unclog tubing? I've been able to unclog a steel set before with a syringe and a lot of pressure but when I tried doing it on the tubing there was too much resistance and eventually just leaked where I'd stuck the syringe in. Normally, I'd think heat might help, but I think heat makes insulin crystallize more so I'm not sure. I don't need perfect solutions or things you'd do on a regular basis, I'm looking for a way out of a one time bind.

    I'm looking for either experience or assistance brainstorming this particular problem, not advice to call the manufacturer or bring more supplies with you. I have enough experience that this is a major inconvenience but not an emergency.
     
  2. mmgirls

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    Tubing or the canula inserted into the body?
     
  3. Ali

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    FWIW I think Novolog has fewer problems with "crystals". See if your insurance will cover that insulin. I have never attempted to manually clear a clog with a syringe. I can see how it might work with a steel set but with teflon I would think it would not work very well. If your insurance is such that you are really stretching your daily/monthly supplies try and see if they will give you Novolog and then see if your Doc will give you a two day set change. With Humolog I needed to change every two days, with Novolog could go longer. With steel longer, with teflon sets every two days. I would not stick a syringe into tubing or a teflon set. If you are down to your last bit of insulin I might just head to an ER to get a bottle of long lasting. Sorry. Good luck. Ali
     
  4. RomeoEcho

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    Tubing. Cannula is fine and I have plenty of spares. (Rapid d, so packed separately which was the problem)
     
  5. RomeoEcho

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    My doctor is over 7000 miles away, and I do not trust the local insulin (neither do native born citizens). As I said, I am perfectly capable of managing with what I've got, but it's kind of a crappy way to deal until I can get back to my primary stash. People make mistakes, and not bringing spare tubing when you're going out of town is frankly pretty far down the list of mistakes I've made in my life.

    If you have any ideas that you're not willing to post publicly since I know what I do is often outside of official recommended practice, feel free to pm me. I also don't care if it's something you'd be willing to do yourself or for your child, just brainstorming here.
     
  6. quiltinmom

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    This may sound dumb, but have you tried pulling the clog instead of pushing it out? Or trying to push it back and forth to perhaps dislodge or break it up? Just a random suggestion. I have no idea if it would work or even be possible.

    Good luck.
     
  7. mmgirls

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    well but the rapid D is a piggy back set so its kind of 'both".

    Honestly, if in a pinch, I would pull out the set and try to clear and reinsert. It is not unheard of to "duck tape a metal set" back down.
     
  8. RomeoEcho

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    I've definitely done this before. For all the twitching parents out there, I always change the site as soon as possible afterwards, but it's served me well before. The set itself is clear and brand new. The tubing before the connector is the problem, clogged up solid it looks like. It's also a lot harder to get the syringe tip into the tubing end though, because there is no stopper, so I'm not even sure I'm getting it in right. I swear I saw a length of tubing in my bag while I was packing, but I guess not.

    Not dumb at all! That's the kind of thinking I was looking for. I hadn't tried it, but sadly it doesn't seem to want to budge. This is one serious clog. Looks like I'm giving up on this one. I've got enough Lantus for half doses until I get home (a week and a half) I'm giving it as one bedtime dose and I'm bolusing by syringe every few hours during the day with superboluses for meals to cover the rest. I've got a sure-t in to inject into, so I'll only end up needing one syringe to do it. It's not ideal, but I won't die. And I'd rather do this than deal with a Chinese ER for a couple hundred units of long acting that might not even work. It really isn't the end of the world, it just requires a lot more thinking than I'd prefer.

    Thanks for trying guys, I appreciate it.
     
  9. mmgirls

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    well I think the easiest fix is to stow a tubing in you kit to just always be there in case it is needed.

    Do you suspend/ stop basal insulin or go long periods without a bolus?

    We have done untethered pumping for a good period of time and know that we had to keep the basal going at the minimum and wipe/clear/clean the end of tubing of the crystallization.
     

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