Welcome to the forums, thecowoutside!
Bubbles, the antagonist of all pumpers
The proprietary reservoirs of the Paradigm pumps are actually designed very well for avoiding/eliminating bubbles, but of course it's near to impossible to get rid of 'em all. Here's what I do:
- Warm the insulin up to room temperature. This will help to prevent bubbles from forming - if the insulin warms up in your reservoir you're guaranteed to get bubbles, and not those little tiny ones either (at which time it's a little harder to get rid of them).
- Pump the plunger of the reservoir up and down inside the empty chamber before filling it with insulin. This distributes the o-ring lubrication around so that there's no chance of air sneaking in through the bottom of the reservoir. (Note: Minimed says this isn't necessary but I've found it very helpful)
- As Aaron suggested, push air into the vial of insulin through the insulin itself. I don't know why it works, but it's a trick that an old friend who used Luer Lock reservoirs taught me. (Luer Lock reservoirs are harder to clear)
- Fill the reservoir slowly, and tip it at an angle while you fill.
- When the reservoir is full, get a pen and tap the heck out of it to bring any air to the top of the chamber. I tip the reservoir a little so that any moving bubbles don't get trapped in the bend before the neck, then I push the bubbles out (along with some insulin) back into the reservoir and directly into the insulin in said reservoir (so, the reservoir is still upside-down lol).
Refill and repeat as necessary.
Karen, when I get a bubble in the line I prime it out. I disconnect the tubing from my set and use the 'fixed prime' option until the bubble is cleared. This way, I'm not missing any insulin during infusion and the insulin that had to be primed out in order to remove the air is not included in boluses.