Tandem Insertion Problems

I’ve been using the T-Slim pump for about a year now and it’s only been recently that I’ve been having a problem with insertion. The past couple weeks when I put in a new pump the tube is bending instead of going into my skin, even when I can clearly feel the needle puncture my skin. The worst part is, I can’t even tell until it becomes too late and that’s usually when my blood sugar becomes high and remains high for longer than it should and I start getting symptoms of Hyperglycemia. It doesn’t give me an warning that something might have gone wrong. It’s actually sent me to the ER twice in the past year for being in the verge of DKA.
I’ve been told by my endo to move my site around and I feel like I’ve been pretty good about it for the most part. I’ve also reached out to Tandem about it and they told me that’s it’s not an uncommon issue.
I just wanted to hop on here and see if anyone else has gone through something similar or any tips and tricks that can help prevent this! Thank you!

Welcome to the forum @CarleCat ! Which sets do you use? I primarily use the Autosoft30 but switch to the Autosoft XC occasionally. I’ve used the 30 for a long time but a while back had some issues with the set slipping out our not going all the way in even though I thought it had. I finally slowed down my process to see if I was doing something differently and discovered I was angling the applicator rather than letting it sit flat. Don’t ask me why I did it, but I should have left well enough alone. When I placed it flat it solved the problem.
Another option would be trying a different set to see if it works better for you. Your Tandem rep or trainer might be able to give you some samples before you commit to buying a box.
PS - don’t forget to look at your numbers a couple of hours after insertion - if they’re rising you might be able to catch them before they go sky high.
All the best!

Hi @CarleCat I had this same issue recently. I called the 24 hour support line, and they were able to send me some samples of the Trusteel infusion sets…I have found these to be a game changer…I no longer have to worry about a canula bending under my skin…good luck to you and I hope this issue resolves for you soon!

Sounds like you’ve got good advice so far:

  1. Double check your insertion technique. Just go through it extra carefully step by step.

  2. Change your insertion sites. If you’ve poked the same area too much, you may have developed some scar tissue or some such that’s making insertion more difficult. Aim to put it into fat rather than muscle.

  3. If that doesn’t work, try a different style of infusion set. A different angle, needle type, or cannula length might make the difference. If the cannula is bending, maybe you’d be better off using a shorter one, for example. Or if it’s not staying in well, you might be better off with a longer one.

You know it can go right; it did for months. So just go back through and see if you can figure out what changed. Trial and error is frustrating, but you’ll get there.

Speaking of different angles - I’m right handed so I usually insert my Autosoft 30s right to left, but now and then try left to right. It’s awkward and I don’t know that it makes a difference but maybe…

I like the 90° angle, myself. And the Autosoft set. Easy to hold that flat and use with either hand, and the self-contained pod makes it easy to carry a couple of spares with me in case something happens to the set when I’m away from home.

@WearsHats I do like the 90s for having the tubing in the insertion case - it’s great for carrying around. Sometimes the tubing doesn’t unwrap completely as I’m opening it up, which is annoying; and occasionally I’ve been afraid the cannula may have come out when I withdrew the inserter - mainly if I didn’t press it down after releasing it. It’s a “me” thing. I do like it and as long as I’m careful it works just fine. Thankfully there are a number of options to choose from.