I'm doing something wrong. I have more kinked cannulas than anyone I talk to, and Insulet and my local reps seem a bit baffled by this. I probably get 1 or 2 a month and run up into the 350+ range from them.

Usually when one occurs, it'll be a day or two into pod wear. I'll run high unexpectedly, correct via injection, and run high again despite the correction. That will prompt me to assume that the pod is bad and remove it. What I see then is a pretty serious kink in the cannula - and twice this last month there were TWO separate kinks. My third one this month actually errored out like it's supposed to and alarmed me, but often, they don't. (I report these to Insulet and they faithfully send return kits and replacements.)

My theories are many:

1) maybe it's the angled cannula and my body prefers a 90-degree?
2) is it placement/movement?
3) is it scar tissue?
4) is it the insulin? I use Apidra. (doubt this)
5) am I doing something incorrectly at insertion? I pinch the skin and gently press down on the nose of the pod.

I occasionally got kinked cannulas when I used the Animas and Cleo sets with my Cozmo pumps. And it's been so long since I used a Medtronic, but I don't particularly recall any kinks - though then I pumped only in my lower abdomen.

Tags: kink

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Replies to This Discussion

Sounds frustrating! My daughter hasn't had too many kinked canulas. We do pinch up, depending on the site, but have never pushed down on the nose of the pod during insertion. If she wears the pod on her stomach, we don't pinch up. We tend to only pinch up on leaner sites, such as her lower back/hip area, or her arms. Maybe try a couple of pods without pushing down during insertion? Good luck.
Ive never pushed down on the pod either. Never had a kink *knocks on wood*.

I don't really know what the root cause might be. I would suspect it's not the insulin (I use apidra too), but that's just my own perspective.

I also pinch the skin, but rather than "pressing down" on the nose of the pod, I just hold the pod still (if that makes sense). So My hand goes over the top of the pod to pinch up the skin around it, but the palmar surface of my hand just "braces" the pod rather than applying pressure to push it any further down "into" my arm). I have very few, if any, kinked pods using this technique.

It could be the placement/movement of the pod. For example if it is in a location that's on a "corner" of your body, your day-to-day movement might be causing it to come loose. An example: You place the pod on your back/love handle area (I to this frequently). If you put the pod too far around "The edge" and place it more on your side, but the canula is pointed towards your back (medially) and you lay on your side to sleep, the extra pressure placed on the back of the pod actually pulls on the nose of the pod, possibly causing the canula to come out some (if the adhesive starts to release every so slightly). Then when you roll off of that location and get up the next morning, the pod returns to its resting place and as such, pushes the canula back down a little bit into the skin, thereby kinking it (b/c the pressure is too much for the thin walled canula to support). But that's just a complete guess. 

It could also be scar tissue (or some combination of scar tissue and the action above?), but w/ the regularity that you change your sites, I don't know that this is the primary (or most likely) culprit. But again just a guess. 

When I previously used minimed stuff, I would occasionally have a kinked canula, but most of those came from my quicksets (even the 6 mm was too long sometimes and I'd hit muscle). It may be that w/ the way and the pod move relative to one another (like mentioned above), a 90* canula would be better b/c it would be "braced" better? 

It's a bummer to hear that the pods have been giving you issues lately :-/ I hope some feedback here can help you look for other things to try that might resolve the kinking!

I swear I heard to push down on the nose from another Omnipod user here in our group, so I've been doing that for some time now. I don't remember why they suggested it.
I've heard that here too. I think some ppl use it to help ensure the canula inserts well. For me, if I push down I will more often than not hit muscle (pain, pod failure, no fun). So I just stabilize now to prevent the "kickback" (if you want to call it that) from the insertion device recoiling. The technique of just stabilizing has seemed to work pretty well for me.
i heard it from an omnipod representative when I called about my pod getting deactivated for no reason. He said to make sure pinch the skin (like if I was getting a shot) and to puch the pod down.....
I have been on omni pod for about 2yrs now, my Dr also adviced me to push down on the nose of the pod. I have been doing that for about 8months now and have not had any kinked incidents , I dont think that is the problem may be placement of the pod. hope you figure out the problem soon! I can imagine how frustrating this is for you..
MelissaBL,
I've been having the same problem too. A whole bunch of pain and sugars that don't respond to my rage bolusing...then I take the pod off and the cannula is bent in an awkward way. I've tried inserting it pinching my skin, pushing the nose down, etc. No avail. Sad face.

I'm pretty skinny with a lot of muscle mass and I heard that a steel 90-degree infusion set works a better with the whole kinking issue. Which, sounds like a simple fix...except that we're on Omnipod with no other choice of cannulas. This sucks so much it makes me want to go to Animas. I have 3 years left on my warranty and 3 more years of constant kinkage sounds pretty unpleasant. Sigh. Not sure what to do.

What do you think you'll do? If you find any new ways to fix the kinking let me know! And thanks for posting this! I thought I was the only one. Ahh, feels good to be validated.
I plan to stick with Omnipod for a while. In part because I want to see what they have improved with the next gen pod (I've seen a mockup, looks much better constructed and was designed in 2010 rather than 2003). And in part because I just signed a consultant agreement to be a local spokesperson for Insulet in my sales area. LOL. My hope is that they'll try very hard to help me fix this and make me happy so I will continue to say fairly positive things. :)

I wish I could say that I'm muscular, but I'm fairly soft and squishy with an average build and a good 30 extra pounds. I refuse to believe I'm hitting areas that are too lean - though it would make me feel awesome. Still, like Bradford said, pushing down may be causing me to hit muscle. I get most of my kinks in my back and butt though - and I'm just sure my butt is squishy enough! (Oh, never thought I'd type that.)
It's good that you're sticking with Omnipod. I think the idea of a tubeless pump is so novel and great. I want them to stay in business! Omnipod is awesome!

I've been talking with Omnipod and they're kind of shrugging their shoulders. I just have the sneaking suspicion that the pods just don't like me. I used to think that Omnipod would be the only pump I could dance with. Of course I was newly diagnosed and the thought of a tubed pump made me pee my pants with fear. I've gotten quite crafty these days and I think a tubed pump might be even easier to dance with. That way I can get an infusion set that works for me and for ballet. It seems kind of lame to change pumps just for that.

It seems though that I tear pods off just due to their size when I'm dancing and an infusion set that is flush with my skin would be more out of the way. Of course the whole kinking issue is crazy too. I'll kink up on my arms 75% of the time, 50% on my back, my butt is useless as I'll sit down or move and the pod gets yanked around horribly. How do you get by using your butt? Also my legs are out of the question. I hadn't been in that much pain in a while.

Groan, what's a dancer to do? To keep the set away from my dance partner I would need it to be on my arms, butt or legs and the only place it doesn't kink is on my tummy. ARG. I thought about going back to shots but I really don't want to. I love pumping! I'll make it work somehow. I guess my next step would be to send copious amounts of cookies to my insurance company to see if they'll let me change to Animas. Hahaha.
I think that, if you read Brads points, it is to do with movement at night. I picked up on one of your points - you have the kinks one or two days in. I have had pod failure in one or two hours and that has been oclusion or bad insulin. Either way I have recitfied it within a few hours - and yes very high levels that have to take a real calm approach to correct. I use my arms and have also used tubigrib to prevent movement that cause the adhesive to come off when swimming and cycling (therefore sweating, which I do very easily, always have done !!) So it sounds like movement over night rather than insertion. I hope this helps. Gos
We have gotten less kinks since using flexifix tape (2 pieces in a cross) and we no longer point the cannula down when we put it on her arm (we got a lot of kinks that way).

Celeste

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