Ingenious infusion set removal

By | 8 February, 2012

Now of course the easiest way to remove an infusion set is simply to pull it off, like you would a plaster. But here at ShootUp we say where’s the fun in that? There are far more entertaining ways of separating a set from your skin.

  • Buttock and thigh sets can be conveniently ripped out by over-enthusiastic trouser removal when going to the toilet. This is always a pleasure.
  • Pumps have been warned before by ShootUp about their door handle fetish. But to little effect. Handles of any form – door, cupboard, drawer – act as a handy extraction device. And have the added joy of allowing you the experience of horizontal bungee jumping when you discover just how far your tube can stretch as you continue walking past the handle you didn’t realise you were attached to.
  • Door frames can also be a useful tool. Mostly I manage to just ram the pump into them as I walk through, chipping the paintwork as I go, but occasionally you can hit them at just the right angle and remove an infusion set.
  • My most exciting infusion set removal was on a boat in a storm whilst trying to get the life jackets. I wouldn’t recommend that one.
  • Dropping the pump so that it hangs from your infusion set is surprisingly ineffective. I have done this many times – mostly because it seems to make non pumpers a bit queasy when they see it happen and is therefore entertaining – but have never managed to pull a set out this way.
  • Applying a set after having had a bath seems a sure fire way to mess it up. It goes in ok, but generally falls off within a couple of hours – something to do with hot, damp skin and a residue of bubble bath I think. There is plenty of skin cleaning gunk on the market to avoid this problem, but where’s the fun in that?

Any other exciting ways to remove an infusion set?

Category: Living with diabetes Tags: , ,

About Alison

Diagnosed with Type One in 1983 at the age of four, Alison's been at this for a while now. She uses Humalog in a combined insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring system and any blood glucose meter as long as it takes five seconds or less.

9 thoughts on “Ingenious infusion set removal

  1. Donald Thomson

    Being a non-pumper I don’t have experience of this phenomenon, but do have experience of’jacket-pocket’ syndrome which is a first cousin of this condition.

    I’m sure there are many ways a diabetic can be parted from his/her infusion set…walking past a parked car and catching it on the door mirror; being hooked by a passing van in the same way; dismounting from a bicycle and getting it caught round the seat/handlebar/brake lever; getting it tangled up with the dog lead; trapping it in the car door/hooked round the handbrake/gear lever; getting it tangled up with ropes whilst rock-climbing/water-skiing. The list goes on (possibly!) Oh, and finally, don’t stand too close to airport luggage carousels . . .

  2. Tim

    I looked down the other day to see our puppy merrily chewing away at my infusion tube. I’m not sure she destroyed the tube, but I did a set change to be sure!

  3. Megs

    My preferred method of removal is the walk by door/drawer handle yank. You need to reach critical speed to ensure you can’t back out and save the infusion set. It is so much more satisfying to rip a set out this way rather than waiting for a planned three day set change.

  4. Paul

    I’ve never had (god this is tempting fate) a set come out before!

    I’ve screwed up several insertions for reasons I don’t understand but never managed to pull a site out.

    Closest I came was a set this week which unpeeled & folded back on itself, flapping loose! wondered why the site hurt, looked, taped it down & it lasted another day.


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