FUDiabetes

Non-visibile pump infections?

I recently switched from medtronic to omnipod pumps (I think my only other post is about making the switch). Historically I’ve had very little trouble with infected pump sites and at worst they were only irritated for a day or two before clearing up. With pods its about the same. I’m not the best with sterility, but don’t wear the pods past two or three days and again the worst symptom is a small reddish spot at the insertion site that clears up in less than a day.

Probably coincidentally, I’m fighting some sort of undiagnosed infection since making the switch. Symptoms are so generic the GP is having a hard time; generally achey and fatigued, occasional chills, and swollen lymph nodes. Labs aren’t especially helpful either, everything is in range except for an inflammatory marker. Generally the Dr is doing a pretty good job of ruling out the scary stuff (eg cancer) before moving onto the mundane (mono)

So here’s my question: Is there any evidence that a site infection could occur and not be obviously visible? Every story I’ve heard about pump infections involves the telltale tenderness and inflammation at the insertion site. A site infection may explain my struggles if, you know, I could find a site infection.

Thanks in advance!

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I would say anytime there is an opening made in the skin there is a chance for infection (internally) that wouldn’t be visible on the surface of the skin. Bacteria being introduced into the bloodstream is a real concern with this or any other shot. We always use a minimum of 2 alcohol wipes to clean the site really well and don’t blow on it…let it dry naturally. Once it’s dry, we put the Omnipod on. But we also get the small red bumps at times and they disappear…at this point we really don’t even think about them because they do happen often and I’ve just written it off as a side effect of the shot + the insulin going into the skin in the area of the shot.

Once we remove each pod, we clean it and apply neosporin to a band-aid and in a day or so there is no trace of the shot in that spot.

When my oldest son was a baby, he was diagnosed with a form of cancer (Neuroblastoma) where he had to have a broviac (a central line) installed into his upper chest/neck for IV’s/Chemo/meds…our job as his parents was to clean around that broviac every night with Chloroprep and do a bunch of things…starting at the center and working our way out from the broviac line. I tell this story because during the year he had that in, we ended up in the hospital three times (about a weeks stay each time) because of blood infections caused by bacteria making it into his body because we just didn’t do the process well enough. He had a rougher time with the hospital stays due to blood infections than he did with the Chemo treatments (although those were not walk in the park either). Morale of the story is…it is CRITICALLY important to always keep any opening as clean as possible so that bacteria isn’t introduced into the bloodstream.

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Wow, you’ve convinced me to start doing a better job at infection prevention! I don’t even clean the site with alcohol. I do spray skinprep on the site but that is mainly to keep the pod more securely attached to the skin.

I’ve only had two really bad infections in the approx 5 years of pod use, neither required hospitalization or doctor visits. I do still have scars from them though.

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