Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Does anyone wipe their infusion spot with alcohol after every disconnection?
I wonder if it helps prevent infections? Or if it even matters at all. Is it worth the cost of the swabs?

I emptied all of the garbage baskets in the house yesterday. I can’t believe the amount of alcohol swab wrappers that were in the trash.

I do it. Religiously, every time. It’s a habit. In the many years of pumping, I’ve had one infection that needed antibiotics. Sure, I put Neosporin on every site when I remove them. So maybe that’s the reason I’ve been infection free.

I can’t really say that I use sterile procedures when inserting a new set. I wipe with alcohol (there’s another swab wrapper) and usually wash my hands before injecting it. When changing just the cartridge of insulin, I clamp off the tubing and hold it with my teeth momentarily, using both hands to push the pump buttons and insert the new insulin. Sterile? I don’t think so. (although I do hold my breath when I’m holding with my teeth)

Ah, my diabetes habits…


Scott said...

Hehe - I chuckled at the part about holding your breath!

I too usually wipe my old site with an alcohol swab after I remove it. But most of the time it is because I've already got an open swab there from prepping my new site.

There are times when I remove my old site at a different time than inserting my new one, and while I've never had problems with not wiping it, I just don't feel the same...

MileMasterSarah said...

I'm so unsterile, it is ridiculous. I don't even OWN alcohol swabs. I've had three pump site infections over 11 years. Usually I got an infection because I ignored a sore site for too long. I guess over time you forget how bad it sucks to get an infection.

Shannon said...

We put Bactorban on Brendon's old site after we remove the set. His endo recommended as it's what she uses. She has Type 1 and is on the pump.

The Neosporin must be what's working at keeping the infections at bay!

We always swab the new site before injection.

Brendon had a nasty infection once even after all of our cleaning and upkeep.

Megan said...

I have erythromycin antibiotic wipes for my acne. If I get a site that looks questionably after I pull it out, I actually wipe it with the antibiotic wipe. I'm sure that's less than approved technique.

Bernard said...

I'm with Sarah.

I've got alcohol swabs in the house, but I can't remember the last time I used one.

When I started on the pump I remember a CDE that warned me of dire consequences if I didn't wash my abdomen with some antiseptic stuff (can't remember the name) and I did do that for a few years.

The closest I come to being sterile is not to blow on the site to evaporate the IV prep, I just wave my hand at it.

Otherwise, no swabs in advance, no swabs on removal of the old site, no swabs when I inject Symlin, no swabs when I use a finger stick.

I'm bad - but then I've only had a site problem once in 8+ years and I am saving the environment from all those old swabs!

Lili said...

I can't speak to infusion sites, but I do know that I used to religiously put alcohol on broken skin and I would get infections quite often. A few years ago I was told not to put alcohol on broken skin, and since then I haven't had an infection. So I think I will not be swapping old sites with it.

Lili said...

I swear I typed "swabbing."

type1emt said...

I haven't used alcohol swabs since injection days(I abhor the odor). If a site starts looking questionable,I'll lather it in Triple A and it clears right up.
But whatever works for ya.