An infusion set carries insulin from the pump to your body. It includes the tubing and the part that is inserted into the subcutaneous fat, right under the skin. This can either be a very small plastic tube, called a cannula or a stainless steel needle.
Infusion sets that have cannulas have a needle that is used to insert it, but that needle is removed once the cannula is in place. The stainless steel needle, however, stays in the body while the infusion set is being used. Whether the infusion set uses a cannula or a needle, it must be changed every three days.
There are basically two types of infusion sets: straight or angled. Straight sets are inserted at a 90 degree angle. Angled sets are inserted at a 30 degree angle. Some of the sets come with insertion devices, while others must be inserted manually.
When using an infusion set, you may sometimes experience having a bent cannula which stops the flow of insulin. Since it sits under the skin, it may be difficult to know when this has occurred. If you have unexplained high blood glucoses, it is recommended that you change the infusion set immediately because the cannula may be bent.
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This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.