Hi Dawn @DawnLada, the “wasted insulin” when I first switched from MiniMed pumps to Tandem bothered me - I may have had the same concern many years ago when I began using the MiniMed pumps.
Now that I have experience with my new [10 months ago] I have mastered the cartridge [not reservoir] filling so that I only put in the cartridge enough insulin to carry me through to the next change time. With a little practice you will be able to do the same - for me, I just multiply by three my average daily usage and add in the amount of insulin needed for tubing and cannula fill.
Recently I was asked for a pump critique by equipment manufacturers and included in my reply “the waste” associated with the Tandem t-Slim cartridge and infusion set changes - both the insulin and packaging materials. But even with this “fault”, i really like my t-Slim and have no intent to change to any-other pump; the pros of this pump far outweigh the cons.
Thank you Joe for responding. I use to have an Animas pump and loved it but they got bought out by Medtronics. I could use almost all of the insulin that was in that cartridge whereas with OmniPod I am wasting 20-30 units sometimes, other times not so much but it does seem like I waste insulin more often than not. So I am trying to find out if what’s the average people seem to be losing with the TSlim X2.
I just brought up the manual and didn’t see a minimum amount. They use the number 95 units in one of their scenarios so maybe that is the best answer. I myself have been on the pump for a few months now. I have gotten past the “waste” which doesn’t really exist if you load properly. I have had Medtronic, omnipod and now the Tandem and honestly am wasting less now that the pump is delivering less when I’m low. Talk to your doctor though and make sure they are not biased towards Medtronic. My doctor was and I insisted on the Tandem. Just be carefull. Do all the research you can. I did and am happy for it.
Every pump design is about trades in feature design. To get the small form of the T:Slim the engineers had to change two elements: battery and cartridge.
The battery could not be a AAA battery because it is too large in diameter to fit in the case. So the engineers used a typical cellphone battery that is rechargeable. As a past Medtronic user, recharging the battery took a little getting used to. No big deal after a couple of weeks.
A typical syringe cartridge could not fit in the Tandem case profile, so they had to be creative. That is where the bag filled cartridge comes from. Medtronic did a solid job with their cartridge design making it simple…that was their design goal. Tandem’s fill system is overly complicated, but it works just fine once you use it a half dozen times.
I the end they made design choices to make the pump small and succeeded…but there is always a cost to those choices. As a consumer, I have become comfortable with the battery charge and cartridge change process and am happy with the pump features and Dexcom connectivity.
Dawn, the minimum I have put in the cartridge is between 90 and 100 units before filling tubing and cannula.
The site I changed today was in just an hour short of 4 days [in the past with Medtronic I had on rare occasions gone longer] and was working fine. Yesterday when I knew the site was in use for three days I saw the amount of insulin left was about a day’s need - because of activity my pump had been suspended and run on a low temporary quite often.
I just switched from the Medtronic Minimed to the T:Slim X2 a couple months ago. It definitely takes getting used to, especially filling the cartridge, but like others have said, it’s not a big deal after you do it a couple times.
One of the big things that has annoyed me is the insulin waste. It doesn’t look like it wastes a lot, but compared to my Medtronic pump, it does. First, it takes about 20 units for the pump to “detect the cartridge.” So I was filling my Medtronic pump 130 units for 3 days, but I have to fill my Tandem pump 150 units. My nurse practitioner said that’s totally normal for the T:Slim.
Also, my Medtronic pump I could run all the way empty, so even when it said the reservoir was empty, I could keep using it until the tubing (which holds about 10 units) was also empty. The Tandem pump completely shuts down when the reservoir is at zero units, which I find especially annoying because it alarms (loudly!) every five minutes until I put in a new cartridge. So this means it wastes another 10 or so units that’s still in the tubing.
There are definitely pros to the T:Slim, including the relationship with Dexcom and the basal IQ technology. But I would consider the insulin waste a con.
@AbigailL Welcome Abigail to the JDRF TypeOneNation Forum! And thank you for your contribution to this discussion; hope to see you here often.
You also confirm my experience shifting from MiniMed Paradigm pumps to the Tandem t-Slim. The ceaseless and very loud alarms the Tandem makes, even after I acknowledge that a cartridge is empty are an annoyance. I liked the fact that the MiniMed reservoir still had a few units of insulin that could be effectively delivered even after the pump read zero.
Another “pro” for the Tandem is the very easy to read screen -because my eyes are far from good, that was a feature I needed to check before I got my new pump.