Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tiny Bubbles...

Since the OC so accurately predicted that I was going to be sick (and I was) I have another problem.
What is it?
Lots and lots of bubbles.
Unlike the song, these bubbles are not making me feel happy or feel fine.
They are in the cartridge. In the tubing. They are killing me. This has never been a problem before. Now all of a sudden, when I fill the cartridge, there are foamy bubbles. When I change my site, there are huge bubbles. Once in a while, I notice bubbles in the tubing. Long ones. Several units long. It takes a lot of insulin to get rid of them.
So, I'm coming to the experts. How do you prevent bubbles? How do you get rid of them? Should I be pulling the cartridge out daily to check for them?


Scott K. Johnson said...

Hi Jen,

Bubbles suck.

One thing that might make a big difference is to make sure your insulin is not cold when you are filling your cartridge. Make sure it's at room temperature.

The other thing I do if I'm having problems is to pull a bunch of insulin into the cartridge, then push all of it out again, then draw up whatever I need to fill the cartridge.

Hope that helps a little - or maybe you're already doing those things and I've just wasted a few valuable minutes of your day...


Kerri. said...


I'm on the same page as Scott: Make sure your insulin is at room temperature and also, make sure you are putting air in the bottle as you take insulin out. (It does make a difference. I swear!)

Good luck!

-- Kerri.

George said...

I do exactly what Scott does. I take my Insulin out of the fridge a while before I am gonna fill a cartridge and then i pull in a lot morethen i need, then push the bubbles out and draw again.

Hope that helps.

Chrissie in Belgium said...

Hi Jen,

I too have had big bubble troubles. I have asked SO many boards, doctors, manufactures..... I agree with all of the advice given my Scott, Kerri and George, but here are a few more tips. When you fill the cartridge and when the cartridge insulin changes temp - that is when you get bubbles. So keeping these two things in mind make sure that when you fill the cartridges the initial bubbles are expelled. Pull the plunger straight back, not to the sides. Do this slowly. Before one fills the cartridge one must lubricate the inside by moving the plunger several times back and forth. I do not pull it out more than the amount of insulin I will be putting into the cartridge. In this way the cartridge stays "sealed" at the end. Always fill the cartridge partially, click at the bubbles along the sides and then expell them. Refill. Make sure you have good light conditions to see the bubbles. I prefill the cartridges before i need tham, so I do not have to bring the insulin to room temperature first. I uses refrigerator cold insulin to fill the cartridges and then place the filled cartridges in the fridge. Filled carrtridges hold 28 days in the fridge. The time limit is because they have been removed from their original bottle. I am a nut for being careful - I do not need added problems! I usually change my cartridges in the morning, so the night before I put the new cartridge "in bed with me" so that it becomes the same temperature it will have the following day, when it will be kind of close to my body. I do not want the insulin to change temp after I start using it. Before I place the cartridge in the pump and "load it", I click it with my finger to get any bubbles, that have arisen due to temp change, at the top. Then I "fill the tubing", all the time tapping the cartridge now placed in the pump. I think I have read that you have a Cozmo pump as I do! Then I carefully inspect the tubing for bubbles. If necessary I "fill the tubing" again.When I give the first meal bolus for that cartridge, I check the tubing, because it is easier to see the bubbles as they move. Try and have a dark background behind the tubing - that helps to see the bubbles.

If you sit in the sun, bubbles also tend to form. So disconnect and "fill the tubing" after sunning.

Bubbles also form when the pump is shaken. I have found that it is much better to keep the pump upside down. This has made a HUGE differnce for me. What I mean by this is that the tubing should leave the pump at the bottom. In this way the bubbles that form go to the top and the insulin leaves at the bottom without the bubbles. I fasten the pump upside down on my pants belt or upside down in my jeans pocket. The upside down is the important bit.

I hope I have helped you. Send me an email if I can be of further help!

cHoCoMiLkRoCkS said...

I just take it out off the cold and warm it in my hands for a bit. then leave it for an hour. I also make sure i put air in the bottle and then draw it up using an easy fill.

i get bubbles but i get my boyfriend to take over and he knocks them all out of the cartidge and back into the bottle.

just hit them hard, then that's it!!! there maybe a few tiny champayne bubbles but they don't affect control.

Felix Kasza said...

Hi Jen,

Bubble-busters page on insulin-pumpers.org


Ross man said...

I Found a solution to it. Unlike what the other people have said, i just dont pull in the insulin as fast. But also listen to what they are saying too, even though i draw it up cold :-X