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  • Introduction

    Your insulin pump delivers insulin 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The goal of CSII therapy is to mimic insulin secretion of a healthy pancreas as closely as possible.

    These are the components of your Accu-Check Spirit Combo insulin pump:

    1. Insulin cartridge = reservoir with plunger, plunger rod and filling aid
    2. Infusion set = transfer set / tubing and head set with a cannula
    3. Insulin pump = with a battery, battery cover and adaptor

    The insulin reservoir that is placed into the insulin pump is called an insulin cartridge. When the insulin pump is in run mode, the piston rod inside the insulin pump moves down bit by bit on the plunger of the insulin cartridge to deliver insulin throughout the day and night. One of the first things you need to learn is how to fill the insulin cartridge with insulin.

    This lesson focuses on filling the insulin cartridge. Future lessons focus on preparing the infusion set and the insulin pump for start-up.

    Next lesson
    Choosing an infusion set
  • Goals

    At the end of this lesson, you will know how to:

    • Choose the materials you need to fill a cartridge
    • How to fill a cartridge with insulin
    • How to remove air bubbles from the cartridge
    • How to dispose of the plunger and filling aid
    Next lesson
    Choosing an infusion set
  • Filling the cartridge: step 1

    Prepare the materials:

    1. a 10 ml insulin vial at room temperature
    2. an Accu-Chek Spirit 3.15 ml cartridge system
    3. a disinfectant solution or disinfectant swab / wipe

    Never reuse an insulin cartridge! This can cause infection and blockages or occlusions.

    Next lesson
    Choosing an infusion set
  • Filling the cartridge: step 2

    Wash your hands well with soap and water. Dry them.

    Next lesson
    Choosing an infusion set
  • Filling the cartridge: step 3

    Unpack the cartridge system.

    Next lesson
    Choosing an infusion set
  • Filling the cartridge: step 4

    Clean the rubber membrane of the insulin vial with a disinfectant wipe.

    Next lesson
    Choosing an infusion set
  • Filling the cartridge: step 5

    Screw the plunger rod on the cartridge plunger in a clockwise direction. Pull the plunger rod back until you feel some resistance.

    Next lesson
    Choosing an infusion set
  • Filling the cartridge: step 6

    Push the cartridge onto the insulin vial until it snaps into place.

    Next lesson
    Choosing an infusion set
  • Filling the cartridge: step 7

    Press the plunger rod to its stop-point and hold it in this position.

    Next lesson
    Choosing an infusion set
  • Filling the cartridge: step 8

    Slowly turn the complete system upside down, carefully holding all components in place.

    Next lesson
    Choosing an infusion set
  • Filling the cartridge: step 9

    Slowly release the plunger rod to let the insulin flow into the cartridge. If the cartridge is not filled completely, pull the plunger rod gently to draw more insulin.

    Next lesson
    Choosing an infusion set
  • Filling the cartridge: step 10

    Remove any air bubbles by tapping the cartridge, pushing them back into the vial. Then pull the vial from the cartridge system.

    Next lesson
    Choosing an infusion set
  • Filling the cartridge: step 11

    Remove the plunger rod by turning it counter-clockwise.

    Next lesson
    Choosing an infusion set
  • Filling the cartridge: step 12

    Remove the filling aid while turning it counter-clockwise and pulling at the same time.

    Next lesson
    Choosing an infusion set
  • Filling the cartridge: step 13

    Push the protective cap tightly onto the cartridge tip until it clicks. Discard the plunger rod and filling aid according to local regulations.

    If you plan to pre-fill plastic cartridges and store them in the fridge, the protective cap should be connected to the cartridge and not removed until just prior to being used. For further instructions, see steps 2, 3 and 4 later on in the section basics / Your Pump / Connecting cartridge, adapter and infusion set. The fridge temperatures must not exceed the manufacturers recommendation for storage of insulin.

    Next lesson
    Choosing an infusion set
  • Quiz

    What important step is this person doing?

  • Quiz

    What temperature should the insulin be when you fill the cartridge?

  • Congratulations!

    You have completed the filling the cartridge section. It’s time to move to the next lesson.

    Next lesson
    Choosing an infusion set

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