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Air bubbles in tubing ............

Discussion in 'Insulin Pumps' started by T_Adelaide, Apr 15, 2006.

  1. T_Adelaide

    T_Adelaide Approved members

    Jan 13, 2006
    :confused: Libby has had her pump for a week & half now. During that time we have had a couple of problems with air bubbles in the tubing (we have 'filled tubing' to get rid of them). The thing is we have been fanatical about checking there were no bubbles in the reservoir. Is there any other way you can get them?
  2. zimbie45

    zimbie45 Approved members

    Jan 5, 2006
    we have had the same problem a few times... we just started pumping 2 months ago... cant wait for the suggestions
  3. nantomsuethom

    nantomsuethom Approved members

    Dec 23, 2005
    Thomas has an Animas pump. When I help him prime his tubing I usually put a drop of insulin in the hub before connecting the tubing. This way there is no air in the hub to begin with. Also we/he holds his pump with the tubing up when he primes.
  4. T_Adelaide

    T_Adelaide Approved members

    Jan 13, 2006
    Thanks Nancy. We always hold the pump & tubing when we load it & make sure it drips through & check there are no bubbles in the line then. And that's after examining the reservoir!

    Chandra I'm glad we are not alone!! :eek:
  5. kipper

    kipper Approved members

    Mar 23, 2006
    No Air Bubbles

    Austin has only had problems once with air bubbles in the tubing and the only thing I can think of that caused them was that his resivoir was almost empty (there wasn't enough insulin in the resivoir to even try to fill the tubing) His main problem has been with the tubing breaking at the luer lock on his cosmo, we called Accucheck to complain but they didn't seem too interested since he is using the tender. Thankfully our supplier switched the unopened boxes to the unomedical comfort short (keep our fingers crossed, that we won't have any breaking issues)

    Hope that helped
  6. T_Adelaide

    T_Adelaide Approved members

    Jan 13, 2006
    Tubing breaking! Urck! I don't even want to think of that happening!
    Each time the reservoir has had heaps of insulin in it ............ I'm beining to think we just need more practice!:rolleyes:
  7. fulljef

    fulljef Approved members

    Feb 6, 2006
    The main thing to keep in mind is to get all the bubbles out of the reservoir... even the VERY VERY tiny ones as they collect and make big ones. Draw your insulin slowly into the reservoir and try not to shake the bottle as the air in the bottle can get subspened in the insulin.

    Also always prime with the reservoir fill end facing up with the tubing connected that way the insulin flows up and out pushing the air out.

    We don't get air in the tubing except for when the tubing is damaged. tubing is dubble layered so it takes alot to damage it. but what I found is my son does not care that the tubing is hanging 2 miles outside of his clothing and it get's caught on the door's or even once a younger preK kid pulled it out on my son's way to lunch he was in 4th grade at the time...now he's in 7th and still battleing the PUT your TUBING in you clothing. He just came back today from a school retreat (3 days gone) and there was a nice kink close to the end... just busted the outer tubing..... so replace... Remember when in doubt repace the infusin set!

    son dxd@7 now 13
  8. Ben'sMommy

    Ben'sMommy Approved members

    Apr 5, 2006
    I think it's just a matter of trial and error.
    We had the same problems when Ben first started pumping but gradually we developed a system that works for us and don't get air bubbles anymore.
    Practise makes perfect. You'll get there... It's still early days for you.
    Our biggest problem right now is that Ben (2) has started chewing on his tubing when he wakes up if it's outside his clothing!!! This is causing a few issues but nothing major.
    There's always something, isn't there!?!
    Never a dull moment.;)
  9. T_Adelaide

    T_Adelaide Approved members

    Jan 13, 2006
    Chewing tubing! Oh my! LOL I hadn't thought of that problem! It must be extra tough with a littlie.
  10. Eoin'sMam

    Eoin'sMam Approved members

    Apr 24, 2006
    Night time blocks

    Hi all

    Eoin is on the pump for a week and a half now, so far it;s been a god-send, especially as he got the winter vomiting bug..it was so much easier to manage...but, and there's always a but, the last 2 nights the pump got blocked, he's just turned 2 and like most 2 year olds does not sleep in one position, he bounces around the cot all night, anyone any suggestion on best way to prevent, blocks kinks at night??? Is it the way the tubing is stored especially as it's so long compared to his body?

  11. TomsMum

    TomsMum New Member

    Nov 23, 2007
    Heat & Bubbles in Tubing causing highs

    Hi - I'm new to the forum & my son is 7 & has been on the pump since last May. We have been having air bubble probs too & thought I had it solved with educator said to leave insulin out all the time as it would be used up before going off, I'm also very careful when changing tubing. Now we have had a few hot days & this week he has had 3 nights where he has reached over 20mmols & picked him up at lunchtime today as he was 26! :mad: unheard of with the needles, but love the freedom of the pump) I suspect that varying air temps is causing the prob (educator agreed it might be too) - this is our first summer, maybe combined with his body reacting to the heat (his sugars also increased in hot days last summer). I would be interested to hear from longer term users of the pump in warmer climates to see if they experienced this problem & if there are any pouch pockets available that act as a cooler to stop the insulin warming up in the first place as his insulin in the resevoir lasts up to a week? Or am I barking up the wrong tree altogether (pumping isn't a science as much as educated guesswork I've found!)
    Thanks! :)
  12. miss_behave

    miss_behave Approved members

    Aug 28, 2006
  13. Kent T

    Kent T Approved members

    Nov 24, 2007

    The Frio pump wallet works superbly in hot conditions. Our staff uses them heavily in Summer conditions. I have found insulin goes bad quicker when it is hot and sites go bad sooner. Demands care and attention!
  14. Stacey Nagel

    Stacey Nagel Approved members

    Oct 23, 2005
    getting rid of bubbles........

    check out this bubble buster list:


    I just copied part of the info from this site. Click on the link to find more help.
    I also find that if I prefill the resevoir, let it sit upright for a few hrs, push out bubbles, then whack the resevoir with a butter knofe to get all the bubbles to go to the top- then push them back into the vial......
    #8 helps a lot too...

    1. Leave your insulin out until it reaches room temperature. (We use a mixture of insulins so we have to leave them both out until they warm up a bit)

    2. Tighten all the spots where there is an attachment. That will help prevent bubbles from getting in.
    3. After your syringe has been filled, allow it to sit for awhile so bubbles
    will rise to the top. Then you can push the darn things out.
    4. Wear the pump upside down, then the bubbles rise away from the tubing. Love this one, wish Erica wore a belt!
    5. Create a large bubble in the syringe by taking in some air then use that to 'suck' up all of the little bubbles. It is then easy to remove the large bubble (and all of the small ones along with it).
    6. Make sure you get most of the air out of the neck of the syringe before flicking it, which breaks up the bubbles and spreads them around.
    7. Don't shake your insulin vial.
    8. When filling a cartridge/syringe, I have available a small syringe with the plunger removed. After I have the insulin started into the cartridge, I insert the syringe into the vial stopper as it is upside-down. This allows air back into the vial and helps to equalize the pressure. I direct the tip of the syringe away from the tip of the cartridge needle so as to not introduce air ack into the cartridge. Of course you end up with a LOT of bubbles in the vial, but wouldn't you rather have them there than in your cartridge? ;>)
    9. Using a cartridge for filling the syringe, rather than a vial, helps keep those bubbles away. 10. If you are using a pen cartridge to draw insulin from, I find that actually PUSHING the insulin into the reservoir by depressing the cartridge plunger helps to alleviate the bubbles.
  15. Abby-Dabby-Doo

    Abby-Dabby-Doo Approved members

    Feb 23, 2007
    Depending on where the bubble is and what's going on decides how I handle it. This is for the MM pump...
    If the bubble is pretty far from the infusion set, I will wait a while (constantly checking it) because frankly it's a pain priming .3 every time and it's several feet away from the end. I wait till it's closer and then use the .3 priming to get it out.
    If the bubbles are far away, and I need to get them out now without waiting. I take the reservoir out, rewind, put the same reservoir back in, and prime it till the bubbles are out.

    Room temperature insulin is KEY! If the insulin is cold, air and bubbles will happen!
    My other two suggestions are...
    When filling the reservoir for the first time with insulin pull the plunger back all the way to end with air, then attach the reservoir to the vial of insulin, push all that air (which causes pressure in the vial) into the vial before flipping it over. Another words the vial is sitting on the counter and the reservoir is on top when you push all the air into the vial. Flip the vial and reservoir over (while your holding it on the vial- not sitting it on the counter) and let the pressure in the vial cause the reservoir to fill up with insulin. When it appears to be done moving on it's own if you need more insulin pull the plunger back and finish it a line farther than what you need. You should have one larger bubble in there somewhere. Tap it with a pen until it rises to the top. Don't tap the heck out of, it will cause a lot of surface air bubbles, and those are the worst. Using the plunger SLOWLY push up on the plunger until you don't see anymore air bubbles going into the vial of insulin.
    My other suggestion is filling the reservoir the night before and let it sit on the counter over night. Maybe that way if your developing any bubbles from the insulin not being room temperature the bubbles will have a chance to form on that day it's getting to room temperature.
    Lastly, I believe bubbles do happen magically. Jumping around and such doesn't help either. Kids are going to skip and jump so constantly be checking the tubing, is really your biggest defense.
    Good luck, and I hope this helps in some way!!!

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