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Bleeding Infections

Superficial bleed at infusion site

Site Bleed #1

Bleeding occasionally occurs near the skin surface and is seen as a red area (the small red spot to the right) at the infusion site. More common with metal needles, but can occur with any infusion set. Requires visual inspection.

Solution

Created when a blood vessel near the skin surface is nicked as the needle passes through. This surface bleeding does not usually cause problems (i.e., there's no lump under the skin and the blood sugar does not rise).

Insulin pump hematoma

Site Bleed #2

A hematoma or deep bleed is a more serious problem. Felt as a hard lump deeper under the skin, it is usually the size of a quarter or smaller. It may feel uncomfortable or slightly warm. As insulin is diverted into this pool of blood and not absorbed, the blood sugar rises. No warning except highs!

Solution

Remove the infusion set. Pinch the lump under the skin to remove as much of the fluid as possible (lessens the risk of an infection). Check that the fluid is red like blood rather than white, yellow or green which indicates an infection. Apply warm compress, call your doctor if the blood sugar stays high.


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