Insert the infusion set or patch pump into the skin or through IV3000™ adhesive by hand or with an inserter. Have a qualified instructor demonstrate how to insert your set or pump properly. Some people feel pain or discomfort when inserting needles or catheters. Numby Stuff® and LMX™ 4 cream can be used to reduce sensation, or EMLA, a prescription numbing cream, can be applied to the skin about an hour before inserting the infusion set. A handy solution for children and adults with needle phobia is to place an ice cube or cold spoon on the site before insertion to trick the nerve endings into feeling cold instead of pain.
Auto injection devices also minimize pain. As the device touches the skin around where the Teflon and needle enter, the nervous system gets distracted. The small gauge of metal needles makes them painless for most users. Metal needles are preferred by parents of small toddlers and young children for their ease of insertion.
Many people find aids unnecessary after the first few set changes. If one infusion set causes pain, there are many others that can be tried.
After inserting a Teflon set, the metal introducer needle is pulled out. The empty space left in the Teflon cannula needs to be filled with a small bolus of insulin. Your pump instructor will tell you or you may read the product insert that comes with the set to find out how much insulin is needed to fill the space left after the needle is removed. This is usually 0.3 to 0.8 units. This space in Teflon cannulas needs to be filled only once after you first insert it. Most metal sets have no gap and a cannula fill is not done.
Always anchor the infusion line with a 2” long piece of 1” Micropore™, Durapore™, or Transpore™ tape placed a couple of inches away from the site. A safety loop is even better, where the line is looped and then taped down. Taping the line down avoids MANY erratic control issues that arise when the Teflon leaks insulin back to the skin after getting tugged or a pump is dropped. Remember to replace the tape anchor after showers, etc.