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How do you keep air bubbles out of the tubing?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by dqmomof3, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. dqmomof3

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    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?
     
  2. hypercarmona

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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.
     
  3. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    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?? :rolleyes:
     
  4. dqmomof3

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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.
     
  5. Caldercup

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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
     
  6. hawkeyegirl

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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.
     
  7. mamamccoy87

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    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:)
     
  8. dqmomof3

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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!
     
  9. hawkeyegirl

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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." :rolleyes:)
     
  10. fredntan2

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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.
     
  11. Joe's Mom 2

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    We used to have a lot of problems with air bubbles. When we switched from the minimed 508 to Cozmo, a nurse showed me how to draw the insulin up really slowly. Then we stopped having problems. Not sure if it's the pump or the technique. I've also heard the insulin should be room temperature before filling the cartridge.
     
  12. Phyllis

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    The logic behind keeping the reservoir above the pump is that air bubbles tend to rise and are more likely to be pumped through the tubing while you are priming the tubing. After the tubing is primed and connected, the relative position of reservoir to pump does not matter.
     
  13. Danielle2008

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    I still haven't mastered a no bubble technique. I get them quite often. I feel like the more I tap the reservoir the more tiny, tiny bubbles I make. So I try not to tap much. Even if the reservoir looks 'bubble free', I will pull it out and check a few hours later...and what do you know, many bubbles are now inside.

    Other then that, I just check often, and prime them out if needed.
     
  14. Bsbllmom

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    I do both of these also. I called Animas once and they told me to only prime the cartridge once to lubricate the sides. If you do it more than that the heat from lubricating it will create more bubbles.
     

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