I have an ongoing problem with bubbles forming in the reservior.

I have been a Minimed pumper for the past 12 years. This problem suddenly started about 5 months ago. The reservior would be bubble free on fill - after 12 hrs bubbles would appear and gradually grow to 1/3 volume at which point I would have to replace the reservior and infusion set.

I complained to Minimed and was told that I was doing something wrong. The local Minimed Rep monitored me filling reserviors and confirmed that I was following correct procedures. This problem is not confined to a single resevior or insulin batch.

Does anyone else have this proble?


Views: 783

Replies to This Discussion

I'm beginning to think that perhaps the reservoirs have "O" ring problems and leak air! Has Medtronic been looking at this?

That could be the probem. Small bubbles always start to form around the casket ring and gradualy became a big one.

Medtronic has sent me a new pump. Since then the size of the bubbles have been reduced by half.

I am hoping that Medtronic look into the possiblity of "O" ring problems.


Very possible. About a year ago, someone wrote a scathing article (I think it was on its own site, but linked from TuDiabetes), about Medtronic's decision to use O-rings rather than a true plunger as you normally see in a syringe. It was described as a cost-saving measure that went against all known best practices for these types of devices and caused all sorts of failures and leaks. If I can find it, I'll post a link here.

I am very new to pumping just started last week. I see a couple of bubbles in the reservoir. Is it possible to remove these or is it ok to just leave them as far as they dont get into my tubing. Suggestions please ..

Welcome sultansfam. You didn't mention what pump you have , but I use a 723. First off, use an insulin vial and reservoir that are room temperature. Don't handle the reservoir in the middle, since the plastic may stretch and cause the o ring to let in bubbles. If you already are using this reservoir, you must hold your pump vertically and tap a few times to bring the bubbles to the top. You may not even see the space where the bubbles are now. Disconnect from yourself, and then continue holding the pump in a vertical position until you pump out the bubbles. Of course, reconnect. It's not a great idea to have "spaces" in your tubing, since the pump won't know that and could deliver less insulin. Welcome newbie! It's not that hard...just learn by experience. and leave the chocolate to St Valentine.......

Have you recently done a Pump Self-Test? I also suggest you call Medtronic Customer Suppo9rt and ask them to talk you through the tubing pressure test to ensure the pumps pressure sensor circuites are working properly.

I could only speculate that the rubber plunger tip might allow minute amounts of air to slip past as the plunger progresses into reservoir. It's worth discussing with Medtronic or your Pump Medical Team.

Best wishes, and hope this is helpful,

T1 40 years, Pumper 9 months

I'm happy that NFCooper solved her bubble problem with a new pump, but can I resurrect this discussion?
I'm still learning about this MM523, and I'd like to know more about preventing bubbles. I remember someone saying that he checks his tubing hourly for bubbles! I laughed and read on, but that was b4 I had a bubble problem. When changing out my near empty rez I have noticed tiny bubbles have collected at the top, but figured that was normal. Then last Friday I was testing 200ish all morning and thought it was a food prob. Later at my doc's office I pulled out the rez to hand her the pump and we saw big bubbles in it! (Doncha just hate it when your bs runs flukey high right before your A1C is drawn?!) (They gave me insulin to inject and GAVE me the full vial, no less!!) Later at home I tried to figure out how to run the bubbles out and save the rest of the insulin, but was clumsy and ignorant about it.
Can someone please explain to me what more I can do to avoid bubbles? I follow all the tapping and pushing out directions in the manual when I start fresh. When you discover bubbles in the tubing, what is the procedure for running them out and saving the rest in the rez? Any tips? Today I have just some teeny tiny ones. Do the eeensy ones matter?

I need all the help I can get... thanks!

I have been getting a lot of bubbles lately, much more often than I did with the previous pump.

Remove reservoir. Check for bubbles and tap to get them to rise to the top. Rewind. Replace reservoir. Hit ACT to fill tubing. Bubbles should flush out (although they don't always). Reconnect when you don't see anymore bubbles.

I still get small bubbles around the gasket during bolus. Medtranic need to provide a work around for this until a perminant solution is found.

I checked with my Medtronics nurse and she suggested me to
1. Disconnect the tube from the body and remove the reservoir
2. Tap the reservoir untilt the bubbles rise to the top. Use a plunger from a new reservoir to push the bubbles out into the tubing until u see no bubbles in the reservoir.(Minute champagne bubbles do not matter)
3. Rewind the pump and follow the steps as you do when you change your infusion set.

This worked for me.
Like Mike said.. I used the insulin vail that was cold .. that might have been on of the problem.

I don't believe I've seen anyone mention lubricating the reservoir before filling it. That means twisting and twirling the plunger while pushing and pulling it up and down to evenly distribute the lubricant. If the reservoir has been sitting for a while, the lubricant can pool, and result in "dry" spots, where bubbles can get in through the O-rings in the bottom. I was taught to do this when I was trained in 1999, but I think it still applies.

Also, you need to fill the reservoir SLOWLY, because if you pull the plunger too fast, bubbles can creep in through the O-rings. And it can be very difficult to dislodge them.

I have a lot of success with these techniques -- hope I haven't jinxed myself! LOL!

Good advice Natalie. I go one step further. I pull the plunger completely out twice. And you are right; slowly fill it.




From the Diabetes Hands Foundation blog...

DHF Joins Diabetes Advocacy Alliance

Diabetes Hands Foundation is incredibly honored to join the Diabetes Advocacy Alliance, an organization with the drive and potential to affect a powerful, positive impact on diabetes and healthcare policy. Diabetes Advocacy Alliance is a 20-member coalition of leading professional Read on! →

Helmsley Charitable Trust Renews Support for DHF

HELMSLEY CHARITABLE TRUST GRANTS SUPPORT TO DIABETES HANDS FOUNDATION FOR FOURTH YEAR  Funding in 2015 to support major transitions in programs and leadership at Diabetes Hands Foundation BERKELEY, CA: February 18, 2015 – The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Read on! →

Diabetes Hands Foundation Team


Melissa Lee
(Interim Executive Director, Editor, has type 1)

Manny Hernandez
(Co-Founder, has LADA)

Emily Coles (Head of Communities, has type 1)

Mila Ferrer
(EsTuDiabetes Community Manager, mother of a child with type 1)

Mike Lawson
(Head of Experience, has type 1)

Corinna Cornejo
(Director of Operations and Development, has type 2)

Desiree Johnson  (Administrative and Programs Assistant, has type 1)


Lead Administrator

Brian (bsc) (has type 2)


Lorraine (mother of type 1)
Marie B (has type 1)

DanP (has Type 1)

Gary (has type 2)

David (has type 2)


LIKE us on Facebook

Spread the word


This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.

© 2015   A community of people touched by diabetes, run by the Diabetes Hands Foundation.

Badges  |  Contact Us  |  Terms of Service