Earlier this summer, MiniMed introduced their new Quick Release Soft Set (see July 1995 issue, page 13). Now a whole new family of sets will be introduced into the United States by Disetronic. This follows after an almost eight-year scarcity of truly innovative infusion sets.
Disetronic is introducing a complete new line, from simple bent needle sets to a teflon cannula set which can be disconnected from the pump and reconnected later. The three sets, called Classic, Rapid, and Tender, recently received FDA approval.
All three sets have two layers of tubing with very small inner diameters. These layers hold about half the insulin of current sets, so the insulin spends less time in contact with the plastic and there is less waste when changing sets. In addition, all have an outer layer of polyurethane, a benefit for pump users who have skin reactions from the tubing used in current sets. Since the needle is cast directly into the set tubing without glue, those who have allergies to glue at the insertion site will find relief.
The Classic is a re-engineered version of the standard bent and straight needle sets. In addition to the above features, the “wings” of the Classic are made of cotton and polyester-soft cotton in contact with the skin on the bottom of the wings, and strong polyester on the upper side. This is good news for those who prefer needle sets but have problems with plastic wings.
The Rapid might look familiar to long-term pumpers since it closely resembles the Sub-Q set which was sold by Autosyringe several years ago. It has a soft circular disk with strong hypo-allergenic adhesive on the bottom and a small needle protruding at a 90 degree angle to the disk. This set is inserted straight into the skin with one hand, and the adhesive holds the set so tightly in place that users forget about the metal needle.
The best feature of this new set is that its small needles come in three different lengths-8mm, 10mm, and 12mm-so pump users can choose a length that fits perfectly, never penetrating the tissue too deeply.
The Tender has been under development for more than three years and is the most advanced insulin infusion set available. It consists of two pieces-a base made from a cloth disk with hypo-allergenic adhesive on the bottom and a teflon cannula exiting to the side. When in place, the unit is just 3/16 of an inch thick. The tubing attaches to the pump with a small connector needle that locks into the base piece. The Tender will be sold with two base pieces for every one tubing piece so a user can change the base piece while using the same tubing.
Said Jim Myers of Disetronic, “Many people prefer to disconnect from the pump while bathing or exercising. It wasn’t easy to do that in the past.”
Because the Tender’s teflon cannula is angled to the side, it remains visible during insertion, eliminating worry about whether the cannula went in properly. Since the cannula slides into the tissue at an angle and is flexible, a user can select the proper depth. Directly above the point where the cannula enters the tissue is a clear window in the base piece. This allows for inspection of the insertion site after the cannula is in place, which helps avoid problems.
The introduction of these products to the United States should make insulin pump therapy an option for many more people and improve the lives of current pumpers.
Says Myers, “I’ve been in the insulin pump business for 15 years and in that time have seen many improvements in pumps. However, infusion set technology has always lagged behind pumps. We at Disetronic are very pleased to be able to introduce a truly superior line of infusion sets. I am really excited about the Tender because it is a third generation set which will allow patients to enjoy the comfort of a teflon cannula but with safety and convenience they could not get in previous sets.”