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Insulin Pump & Infusion Set Body Placement

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Proper body placements will help with insulin absorption and can reduce risks

 

Author:  LaurieAnn Scher, MS, RD, CDCES, FADCES

October 2022

Choosing the right insulin pump site is important for a number of reasons. It affects how well insulin is absorbed and overall blood glucose is managed. Choosing the right location can also reduce the risks of common pumping issues. Each insulin pump and Automated Insulin Delivery (AID) manufacturer has specific recommendations for on-body placements for their device, which we’ve aggregated below. As always, see the manufacturer's website for further details.

 

Placement Recommendations by Pump & Manufacturer

Shown here are the best body areas (shaded) for infusion set insertion for the Medtronic 630G, 670G, and 770G insulin pumps

  • Avoid the 2-inch (5.0 cm) area around the navel to help ensure a comfortable infusion site and to help with adhesion.
  • Do not use the same infusion set insertion site for an extended period of time. This can cause the site to become overused. Rotate the infusion set insertion sites regularly
  • To keep sites healthy, some people find it helpful to use a visual scheme to help them rotate their insertion sites in an organized way. For example, here are two commonly used methods. For maximum effectiveness, use both methods, alternating between them.

Visualize an imaginary clock drawn on the abdomen surrounding their belly button. Rotate infusion set insertion sites by starting at 12 o’clock and then rotate the site clockwise to 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and so on.

Imagine a letter M or a letter W on either side of your belly button. Start at the end of one letter and proceed through the letter, rotating to each intersection in turn. 


Omnipod Dash

Discuss suitable Pod placement sites with a healthcare provider using the following guidelines:

  • Ideal sites have a layer of fatty tissue
  • Ideal sites offer easy access and viewing
  • The site should be at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) away from the previous site to avoid skin irritation
  • The site should be at least two inches (5 cm) away from your navel
  • Avoid sites where belts, waistbands, or tight clothing may rub against or dislodge the Pod
  • Avoid sites where the Pod will be affected by folds of skin
  • Avoid placing the Pod over a mole, tattoo, or scar, where insulin absorption may be reduced
  • Avoid areas of the skin with an active infection

The Pod site map is an optional feature that helps you track your current and recent Pod site locations. This option only appears if the Pod Sites setting is turned on for use in your settings. 

Omnipod Dash

Orient the Pod so it is:

  • Horizontal or diagonal on your abdomen, hip, lower back, or buttocks.
  • Up and down or at a slight angle on your upper arm or thigh.
  • For optimal connectivity, the Pod should be placed at least 3 inches (7.62 cm) from and within line of sight to the CGM. The Bluetooth connection between the CGM and the Pod does not travel well through the body. Keeping both devices within line of sight allows for consistent CGM communication with the Pod.

Note: Line of sight means that the Pod and CGM are worn on the same side of the body in a way that the two devices can "see" one another without your body blocking their communication

An infusion set can be worn anywhere on the body where a person would normally inject insulin. Absorption varies from site to site. Options should be discussed with a healthcare provider. The most commonly used sites are the abdomen, upper buttocks, hips, upper arms, and upper legs.

When using the abdominal area, it is important to avoid:

  • Areas that would constrict the site such as the belt line, waistline, or where you would normally bend.
  • Areas 2 inches around your bellybutton
  • Any scars, moles, stretch marks, or tattoos

Site rotation is recommended to encourage healthy skin. The infusion set must be replaced and rotated every two to three days, or more often if desired or advised by healthcare provider.

With experience, a person will find areas that provide better absorption and are most comfortable.  Using the same areas may cause scarring or lumps which can affect insulin absorption.

Also, users should keep the area and the equipment clean.

  • To avoid infection, always use clean technique
  • Wash your hands, use antiseptic wipes or infusion site preparation products to avoid contamination.

DISCLAIMERS:

This site and its services do not constitute the practice of medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always talk to your diabetes care and education specialist or healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment, including your specific medical needs. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem or condition, please contact a qualified health care professional immediately. To find a diabetes care and education specialist near you, visit diabeteseducator.org/Find.

ADCES and danatech curate product specifics and periodically review them for accuracy and relevance. As a result, the information may or may not be the most recent. We recommend visiting the manufacturer's website for the latest details if you have any questions.


 

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