My Experience with the UltraFlex

It’s been almost 2 weeks since I started trying the Accu-Chek UltraFlex infusion set based on a recomendation from my distributor after some unexplained issues with pumping. I still can’t pinpoint what’s going on really, but the problems seem to be somewhat solved, somewhat not. But, I’m not going to bore you with that, and I’ll just get on with the infusion set itself.

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The Accu-Chek UltraFlex is made for and distributed from Roche – the makers of the Accu-Chek Spirit and Combo insulin pumps as well as the Nano, Aviva, and Active meters (I’m sure there are others, but those are the one’s I remember). Also, they are the maker of my BELOVED FastClix lancet device. If there is ONE thing they know how to do, it’s make an awesome finger poker. And now, I’m beginning to feel the same of their infusion set… mainly because of the inserter.

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There’s nothing really special about their infusion set when compared to others like the Inset or QuickSet. It is also a 90 degree Teflon cannula, so no bells and whistles there. Their connector is a bit different, but again, no real difference can be seen with that one either. So what’s the big deal?

Two things: There are 3 different cannula lengths available, something the other’s don’t offer, and the way the inserter works.

With most all of the other types of straight cannulas, you have an option of only 6mm depth and 9mm depth. While this may be okay for most, these give a slightly wider variance in that you can get a 6mm, 8mm, or 10 mm. For me, this has been perfect simply because with the Inset, I’ve always felt the 6 was too short while the 9 seemed to feel as if it were “brushing” nerves or muscle tissue (I know, gross). So far, I haven’t had that issue with the UltraFlex sets.

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Next, is the inserter. This is where I honestly feel this device is truly set apart from the others. Rather than cocking the device and then having it press the infusion set in as it’s deployed, it simply spring-forced rapid-fires the infusion set into you. There’s no pressing or jarring of the spring action against the set. It does the work of the quick-jab like you’re taught to do when giving an injection without the pressing action of the other spring-loaded mechanisms. After it’s inserted, all you have to do is be sure to press the tape down and connect. I’ve used it a few times now and it has lessened the pain that I usually feel when using a new set.

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Now, a third thing I would like to throw out there is the packaging. I do like that the way it is set up, in that the tubing is separate from the site itself, and there’s a cap that can be reused to cap over the needle to throw into the sharps bin. Everything else can be thrown away or put into recycling (I think).

I’ll miss my pretty pink Insets, but the tradeoff has been somewhat better control. Maybe I can color it with nail polish or something… 😀

If you’d like to watch the video version of how to use the Accu-chek UltraLink and LinkAssist, I put one up on YouTube yesterday… or just watch here:

And just for kicks and giggles, here’s the insertion in slo-mo!

5 thoughts on “My Experience with the UltraFlex”

  1. After my recent (and ongoing) trial with Contact Detach sets, I wonder if a 4mm set is a possibility. In almost 10 years of pumping, I have never used a 90 degree set that has a good percentage of insertions not being painful. I am thin, but not skeletal, and guess that out of every box of ten 90-degree sets, 2 or 3 end up failing or being so painful that I have to yank them out. When I think of young children using these sets, I wonder how they can tolerate them.

    I know that some syringes have incredibly short needles now and I wonder if infusion set makers should visit the idea of shorter cannulas.

  2. This is definitely an intriguing product, and these guys just may be the ones to give Unomedical a run for their money — something I think Spring tried to achieve, but couldn’t. (unfortunately, I can’t easily try it with my own pump).

    With all of the Unomedical sets, I’ve always been shocked at the flimsy needle guard – that bendable blue sleeve that slides over the needle but seems incapable of offering real protection. The use of the cap on this set tells me they didn’t cut corners, which is nice,

    One thing I’m wondering — how high off of the skin does this connector stand in comparison to the Mio/Inset? It looks a bit large, but that may just have something to do with the camera angles.

    Thanks for the insight into this new, alternative infusion set.

  3. Oh boy Sarah, we are having so many of the same problems with our tslims. And it’s not related to where you live and the heat. I live in Chicago and have had issues on the cooler days over the past two months. I understand your frustrations as it’s difficult to live a normal life when so much time is spent focusing on whether or not your insulin is working. I’ve worn the inset and quick set (my old MM fav) and dealing with bent cannulas, site problems and unexplained high blood sugars. I’ll try the Cleo and Ultraflex next. I wanted to love Tandem but it may not be for me. See you at Stanford in November! Keep blogging…:)

Tell me what you think!