When I started the MiniMed 530G with Enlite, I committed to wearing the Enlite sensor all the time. When I wore the Sof-sensor, I took occasional sensor breaks, but now with Enlite, I didn’t want to continue that same habit. I quickly found it was important to use my “real estate” wisely when it came to wearing two sites 24/7. Here are some tips I have learned along the way that might help you with infusion set and sensor site rotations. I call it the “S.P.O.T. method”.
(S) Site Location
The stomach is a very common place to wear an infusion set and one of the main areas that I have used for years. I initially started wearing my sensor and my infusion set in my stomach (making sure they were an inch away from another), but I found it to be too much space taken up on my skin with not a lot of flexibility to rotate. So after talking with my doctor, we decided to dedicate my stomach to sensors only (at least for now). For my infusion sites, I rotate between my thighs, arms, and back/love handles. Saving my stomach for my sensor allows ample time for my sites to heal and skin to remain healthy during the six day sensor wear.
Before I insert a sensor or infusion set, I think about all the locations I can insert them, often choosing a site based on the answer to these questions:
1. Where did I insert last? (Choose a different spot)
2. What types of activities am I planning on for the next 3 days? (Activities like working out might change placement)
3. What kinds of clothes will I be wearing for those activities? (Beach day or formal events mean different outfits so I choose a different spot)
4. Are any of the following true for the selected spot: a skin fold, scar tissue or overused site, too close to the belt line? (Don’t use those areas for sensor or infusion set insertions!)
Infusion Set Site Rotation
Sensor Site Rotation
(P) Pump Placement
When I started rotating my sensor sites and infusion sets, I occasionally lost communication between my pump and sensor. Tempted to always insert my sensor and infusion set on the same side of my body so that my pump could be clipped within a closer range, I got creative. Now, I stick with my rotation schedules and don’t wear my sensor and infusion set on the same side all of the time. Instead, I clip my pump on the same side of my body my sensor is placed, not my infusion set. Sometimes my infusion set will be on my right thigh and my sensor will be on the left side of my stomach, so I simply pull the tubing over, and clip my pump on my left side (This is where my mid-to longer infusion set tubing length comes in handy). This removes one more barrier when planning my insertion sites.
I was trained to have my sensor inserted horizontally on my stomach, but recently discovered that it can also be worn vertically with the transmitter on top of the sensor, too. By changing the insertion orientation, the sensor is at a different angle, using a slightly different area of the skin. I now swap my sensors from one side to another each time I change my site, and I change the orientation.
You can do this with your infusion sets, too. Do you prefer tubing pointing up, down, or sideways? I have found that by finding the right way to insert, depending on body locations, it can make the insertion more comfortable while allowing for more site options.
Keep track of your insertion sites, and come up with a method or tool that can help remind you. When I first started on the pump, I manually wrote notes in my log book for where I wore my sites. ( I’ ve also heard of people who mark this down on their calendar or use reminders on their phone. ) But after a few years I became used to the practice of rotating so no longer needed to manually write it down. I just made a decision to be thoughtful of choosing my sites, and I mentally am able to recall where I should do my next sensor or infusion set insertion based on my last few spots.
For infusion set site rotation, Medtronic recommends the “clock” or “M/W Rotation” methods on your abdomen.
Since I no longer wear my infusion set on my stomach, I rotate by choosing a different body part/side of my body when inserting a site. For example, if I wear my infusion set on my right arm today, then in 3 days I will use my left arm. I use the “M/W Rotation” as a guide for my sensors, but I always make sure that there is are at least two inches between my sensor and belly button (it’s the same rule for infusion sets if you wear them here too.)
Sometimes it just takes a little thought and trying different things to find exactly what works best for you. What helps you with site rotation? Let me know in the comments below!
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
– Medtronic Diabetes insulin infusion pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and associated components are limited to sale by or on the order of a physician and should only be used under the direction of a healthcare professional familiar with the risks associated with the use of these systems.
– Successful operation of the insulin infusion pumps and/or continuous glucose monitoring systems requires adequate vision and hearing to recognize alerts and alarms.
Medtronic Diabetes Insulin Infusion Pumps
– Insulin pump therapy is not recommended for individuals who are unable or unwilling to perform a minimum of four blood glucose tests per day.
– Insulin pumps use rapid-acting insulin. If your insulin delivery is interrupted for any reason, you must be prepared to replace the missed insulin immediately.
Medtronic Diabetes Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Systems
– The information provided by CGM systems is intended to supplement, not replace, blood glucose information obtained using a home glucose meter. A confirmatory fingerstick is required prior to treatment.
– Insertion of a glucose sensor may cause bleeding or irritation at the insertion site. Consult a physician immediately if you experience significant pain or if you suspect that the site is infected.
Please visit MedtronicDiabetes.com/isi for complete safety information.
, continuous glucose monitoring
, infusion set
, MiniMed 530G
, site rotation