YpsoPump: The First Few Weeks (Part Two)
I’ve been road testing the new YpsoPump that launched in Australia last month. If you missed the first half of my review, you catch up here.
I must admit that I was a little intimidated at the prospect of using Ypsomed’s Orbit inserter to place infusion sets on my stomach. When I last used the Animas insets two years ago, it was a terrifying experience. The insertion process with the disposable plastic insets were so clunky, leaving me with little confidence in whether my insertion was a success, or whether the cannula had kinked on the way in. I can still recall one tumultuous night where I didn’t pick up on a kinked cannula until several hours later when I had high blood sugars and moderate ketones.
Thankfully, I’m finding that the YpsoPump’s reusable Orbit inserter device does a far more efficient job. The plastic cannula that sits underneath the stomach feels much stronger than the Animas sets, which would also help with kinking as well. The infusion sets can also be inserted manually.
The area does feel a little tender after the pressure from the insertion, compared to the gentler manual Animas sets that I’ve been using. Thankfully, this hasn’t been a sign of any site failures. I’ve been cautiously doing my insertions 12-24 hours prior to switching the site, so that I’ll be able to pick up any signs of a site failure. I’ve had one bad site placement so far, and I was able to pick it up straight away (it was just a bit of blood).
I really like that if you do happen to place your site badly, you can simply clip it back onto the Orbit inserter and try again, compared to an inset which is rendered useless once it comes away from the insertion device. It’s also nice to have a reusable inserter device that doesn’t create so much plastic waste like the disposable insets.
Ypsomed’s Orbit infusion sets are cleverly designed to rotate 360 degrees. The end of the pump line clips into place over the top of the infusion site, rather than having to be clipped rigidly into the side of a set.
The downside to this design is that it is challenging to check the skin where the infusion set is placed for any signs of bruising and bleeding. I’m slowly getting used to seeing through the purple coating, with a little help from my iPhone torch.
The sets seem to stick well enough at the centre, although they do tend to come loose around the edges after showers. One thing I am enjoying is less sticky residue left on my skin after removing an infusion site.
There is a choice of Orbitsoft plastic infusion sets (6mm and 9mm) and Orbitmicro steel infusion sets (5.5mm and 8.5mm), with each available in lengths of 45cm, 60cm, 80cm and 110cm. I did try one of the steel sets, but I think I am a bit weirded out by having a needle permanently underneath my skin. While it worked just fine for three straight days, I can’t say that it was as comfortable as the plastic.
Ypsomed’s glass reservoirs hold 1.6ml of insulin, which is slightly less than the 2ml capacity of Animas and may be a consideration for people on larger insulin doses. We were told that insulin in the glass reservoirs could be used in the YpsoPump for up to 7 days, or stored in the fridge for 30 days.
I was also in disbelief as the pump continued to run for up to five minutes while I was changing the battery. There’s no more having to rewind and re prime the insulin cartridge, or worry about losing information about insulin on board. Since I stopped syncing with the mylife app and switched off the pump’s Bluetooth last week, I’m expecting to get around 3 weeks from the AAA alkaline battery.
When I caught up with one of the Ypsomed reps in Perth last week, I expressed just how much I want to hear from other people who have used new diabetes tools and technologies. Even during the pilot phase when I had no idea that I would be getting a pump, Ashley’s insights were so valuable.
People with diabetes need to be part of the conversation, and I’m super grateful that Ypsomed included us in their launch – which is especially generous considering they are relatively new to Australia.
The YpsoPump is available in Australia now. Subsidised consumables are available through the NDSS, although I’ve been told to expect a 7 to 10 day delay as my Pharmacy’s supplier doesn’t carry them. Which is understandable, given it’s a new product and the demand probably isn’t there yet.
A large group of Diabetes Educators attended pump training in Sydney last month, and Ypsomed has also been travelling around to various clinics around the country to train further healthcare professionals. So if you would like to get started on this pump, I am confident that you will be able to find a trained healthcare professional near you.
According to CDE Amy Rush of the Telethon Type 1 Family Centre in Perth, you may be able to get a YpsoPump before your pump replacement is due and Ypsomed will liaise directly with your health fund. I don’t know the details personally, but you can watch Amy’s video here.
If you haven’t already noticed the enthusiasm in this post, I genuinely am still brimming with enthusiasm for this pump four weeks in. I think the size, weight and sleekness of this pump are the real selling points for me.
After the pump complacency and health insurance issues that I’ve dealt with recently, the YpsoPump could not have come along at a more perfect time to help me feel re-energised in the daily grind. I officially ordered a second box of infusion sets last week, and am feeling quite optimistic about our future together.