Can a CNA help change urinary catheters

Insulin pump: tips for changing the catheter

Anyone who says insulin pump must also say catheter. Because an insulin pump is good at delivering insulin, similar to the pancreas, and thus regulating the blood sugar level. Of course, it doesn't work all by itself, because the insulin has to get into the body somehow from the pump. There are special catheters for this, which are usually placed on the stomach, but also on the thighs, hips or buttocks.

Anyone who deals with insulin pump therapy can get cold feet at the thought of putting on the catheter. And even experienced insulin pump users are sure to know nicer topics than the next catheter. A few basic tips and tricks will help you approach the topic in a relaxed manner.

How, where, what: the preparation and the insertion

In order to prevent contamination and inflammation, hygiene is the be-all and end-all: this means washing your hands thoroughly before sitting down and disinfecting the puncture site with disinfectant (e.g. as a spray). It is important here to let the agent dry and not wipe it off. This prevents contamination and ensures that the area remains really sterile.

When the puncture site is ready, the new catheter can be inserted. In order to bring the cannula under the skin, the catheter is held by the needle housing - under no circumstances by the needle itself. A particularly handy needle housing, such as the Accu-Chek Insight infusion sets, or a setting aid support this.

Be careful in summer and on winter holidays in hotter climates: Catheters with a Teflon cannula offer particular flexibility. In warm temperatures, however, the cannula can become softer and make insertion more difficult. A short trip to the refrigerator counteracts this and makes it easier to sit down.

Does everything still sound complicated? Do not worry! Before the insulin pump therapy starts, all the basics are covered in detail in an insulin pump training course - so changing the catheter becomes routine.

After the change is before the change

Basically: All catheters are single-use items and should be exchanged for new ones after two to three days at the latest. How long the catheter can be used is stated in the instructions for use. The place where the old catheter sat should be given some rest and the next catheter should be put in a new place. If it is difficult to remember, you can, for example, enter the positions in the calendar or set a fixed rotation sequence for yourself.

If the puncture site itches, hurts, or is reddened, the catheter should be changed immediately. This can also be necessary in the case of moisture from leaked insulin, as the insulin may not even get where it is supposed to.

The insulin pump and catheter are, in a sense, like part of the body. It is therefore advisable to take a careful look at both. This means, for example, checking your blood sugar one to two hours after you sit down. If there are peaks or noticeable fluctuations, the catheter may be the reason and should be replaced.

Which catheter suits me?

When choosing a catheter, personal preferences and lifestyle are important. The length of the cannula can vary by a few millimeters and you can choose between different materials: Teflon cannulas, for example, offer a lot of flexibility and are suitable for an active lifestyle, for example for children who play a lot outside. Some Teflon cannulas can also be inserted at a variable insertion angle - for even more freedom of choice. If you do a lot of sport, detachable solutions such as the Accu-Chek Insight infusion sets also have the option of disconnecting the insulin pump from the catheter for the duration of the sport.

But no matter what length or what material - ultimately you decide for yourself what suits your individual situation and diabetes therapy best. And you are now prepared for the next catheter change.