I’ve been on an insulin pump for six and a half months. I use a Medtronic Minimed Paradigm Veo (without the CGM) and until this week I have used only Medtronic Quickset infusion sets. Without anything to compare them to, I can say that I’ve been satisfied. Not that I haven’t had my frustrating moments with infusion sets coming out in the humidity of summer, batteries running out without warning, and all kinds of other small problems, but none of those problems made me consider switching to a different pump. The one thing that has really bothered me from the day I got the pump, though, is the big blue inserter.
When the Medtronic sales rep, Karen, gave me the pump and explained the different parts of the set, she pulled out the inserter and showed me how it worked. My first reaction was “what if I lose it, or forget it when I travel?”
“Oh, don’t worry you can always insert the infusion set without the inserter,” she said.
I was a little skeptical about the idea of pushing the set in manually. I’m not very gentle and have injected insulin through my jeans many times, but for some reason I really don’t want to try to insert that set without the inserter.
So when I was first invited to try the Spring Universal Infusion Set I was very happy. I was happy to try something new, something that had features other sets didn’t have, and something from a different company (yes, I believe that competition forces companies to innovate ). But what I was most happy about was the all-in-one inserter.
After reading and hearing more about the set I understood that there was much more to it than just the all-in-one inserter that I discovered was not a unique feature (Animas’ Inset II, Fifty Fifty’s Thinset and even Medronic’s Mio have this feature). I’m not going to bore you with technical details of the Spring set, which can be found online but I will say that the Detach-Detect mechanism, which means that if the set detaches from your body the pump alarm goes off, sounds great. I haven’t experienced it yet.
Hooking up to the set is very easy, and I found that the single button release mechanism does make it much easier to insert, especially when placing the set a little toward the back. Spring claims that the set is also less painful than other sets but I must say that to me it felt about the same, but then I’m not all that sensitive.
To me, one of the advantages of this set is the much larger adhesive area. Although I haven’t put this to the Summer Sweat Test, it seems to me that the extra adhesive tape placed in the center of the set will help the set stay in while running and sweating for long periods of time. Of course, if I’m wrong at least the Detach-Detect mechanism will let me know that I’m not getting any insulin.
The biggest drawback for me right now is that the reservoir of my Medtronic pump doesn’t attach directly, as it does when I use Medtronic’s set. Therefore, I have to use third-party reservoir, which is more complicated. Without having a direct attachment to the vial, it’s much harder to fill the reservoir and I have had problems with air bubbles. Big problems. So with five days left until my marathon, I’m going back to my Quikset, at least until the the race is over. I’m excited about the Spring set, but now is not the time to take chances. I need to stick with what I know well, and hope that it works.