The I-Port: Taking the “Multiple” Out of Multiple Daily Injections

You know how the pump works: it has an infusion set with a softcannula that's inserted only once every few days, and your insulininfuses into your body by way of the cannula. You certainly don'tget poked with a needle every time the pump sends you some insulin.

Now there's an infusion set for insulin injectors, called theI-Port, that eliminates about eighty percent of the needle sticksendured by people on multiple daily injections. It's a little domeabout the size of a quarter and only a third of an inch tall. Whenyou apply it to your body, a needle guides a tiny cannula into yoursubcutaneous tissue, where it remains. (If you rub your skin with anice cube first, you won't even feel it going in.)

For the next 72 hours, you give all your shots to the I-Port,which feeds the insulin into your subcutaneous tissue via a tinyfunnel going to the cannula. Even the longest needles don't reachyour skin, so the I-port feels all the pain and you feel none. After72 hours, you replace it with a new one, and you're home free foranother three days.

For someone taking three insulin shots a day, the I-Port cuts downyour monthly quota of needle sticks from ninety down to as few asten. Its hypoallergenic adhesive stays put through bathing,sleeping, and exercising. It's even useful for pump users takingSymlin or for type 2s on Byetta who don't want to give themselvesthose shots every day. (When using the same I-Port for both long-and short-acting insulin, ask your prescriber how long you shouldwait between the two injections; the company recommends at least anhour. When using both Symlin and multiple daily insulin injections,you might want to use two I-Ports, one for each medication.)

The I-Port was the brainchild of Catherine "K.K." Patton, whofounded Patton Medical Devices in 2004 to bring it to market. K.K.,who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes after the birth of her son,tried both multiple daily injections and the pump but wasn't happywith either. So she came up with the I-Port in an effort to marrythe best of both worlds.

If you're tired of injections, the I-Port could be just what you'vebeen looking for, so check out the company's website at comes complete with animated videos and testimonials, and it evenhas a prescription form ready for printing.

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