Insuflon catheter (1210)

Key points below

What is an Insuflon catheter? 

An Insuflon catheter is a small, plastic tube used to give medicine under the skin. Medicines can be given through the tube several times a day without poking your child each time. It looks like an IV but goes under the skin into the fatty (subcutaneous) tissue instead of into a vein. It may stay in place for 3 to 7 days, depending on the type of medicine given.

How do I help my child understand what will happen? 

Tell your child what will happen ahead of time. Your nurse or child life specialist will help explain the procedure to your child. They will use simple terms to tell your child what they will see, hear and feel. It might help to use a doll to show what will be done. 
How much you tell your child will depend on their age and how anxious they are. Tell your child the tube is there to give medicine. Let them know that the tube will mean less pain. Reassure and praise your child during the procedure and when you are done.

How is it placed? 

Insuflon may be put in at the hospital, clinic or at home by a home care nurse. If you have been taught to place the catheter, follow these steps:

1. Choose a site, away from skin folds or the edges of clothing. Your nurse will show you the best sites to use. Use a new spot each time to prevent fatty lumps. Lumps may keep the medicine from being absorbed as it should. Good choices are: 
Outside of arm.
Front of leg.
Stomach (place sideways to avoid skin folds). 
2. Put numbing cream on the skin, if needed. Follow the directions for the amount of time to wait for the skin to be numb.
3. Make a clean work area.
4. Clean hands thoroughly. Wash with soap and water or use an alcohol hand sanitizer. 
5. Get supplies.
Insuflon catheter with adhesive dressing. Be sure the package is sealed and not expired.
Alcohol swab.
Sharps container.
6. If you used a numbing cream, wipe it off with a clean cloth. 
7. Clean the area with an alcohol swab. Let it fully dry so the dressing will stick to the skin. 
8. Open the Insuflon package, but leave the Insuflon inside.  Lay the package flat on your clean work area. Pick up the catheter and take the cap off. Put the cap in the rear of the plastic catheter (Insuflon hub). 
9. Insert the catheter.  
Hold it in one hand like a pencil. 
Use your other hand to pinch the skin at the site where the needle will go in.  This is called the injection site.
The slanted side of the needle should be facing up.  Push the catheter in as far as possible at a 30 to 45 degree angle in one smooth movement. 
10. Hold the hub firmly against the skin and slowly pull the needle out. Be careful not to remove the tubing when pulling the needle out. 
11. Put the needle in the sharps container. 
12. Hold the catheter in place and put the adhesive dressing over the injection site. Be sure the site is covered with the clear window first, then press around all edges and wings to be sure it is secure. 
13. The dressing works best if it is not touched for several hours. Until the dressing is well attached, your child should not bathe or exercise. 

How do I give medicine?

1. Make a clean work area. 
2. Clean hands thoroughly. Wash with soap and water or use an alcohol hand sanitizer. 
3. Gather supplies.
A 27-31 gauge subcutaneous needle
Syringe with medicine Alcohol swab
Sharps container
4. Check your child’s site. 
If you see any signs of infection: red, warm, swelling or drainage, do not give the medicine. Call your home care nurse or clinic to report signs of infection. 
If the site shows no sign of infection, go to next step. 
5. Fill the syringe with the medicine. Do not give more than one kind of medicine through a single Insuflon without checking with your health care provider. 
6. Rub the injection port with an alcohol swab to clean it. Let it dry. 
7. Put the needle into the hub about ½ inch. Do not push the needle further than the plastic tube on the outside of the skin (hub). This could damage the catheter. 
8. Push the syringe plunger to give the medicine slowly.
9. Pull the needle out of the hub. 
10. Put the needle and syringe in a sharps container. 

When do I change it?

1. How often you change the catheter will depend on the site and type of medicine being given. Your health care provider will talk with you about this. Never leave tubing in one place for more than 7 days. 
2. The catheter may need to be changed early if there are any signs of skin breakdown or infection. Signs to look for are: 
drainage or bleeding
kinked tubing
loose dressing
catheter comes out
3. Put in a new Insuflon before taking out the old one to be sure you are at a different site.
4. To take the catheter out, peel off the dressing, starting at the catheter end. Pull the catheter out. If soiled with blood, put it in a sharps container, otherwise put in trash. 

Can my child swim or take a bath? 

Talk with your health care provider. Most children can swim and take a bath with the catheter in, as long as the dressing is sticking well to the skin. Avoid very warm water or salt water. Be careful not to disturb the tubing during swimming or bathing. 

Where can I get more information? 

Intrapump Infusion Systems. 


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if:

  • Your child has temperature of 101°F (38.3°C) or higher.
  • There are signs of infection: redness, warmth, swelling, drainage at the site.
  • You have problems placing the catheter.
  • You have problems giving medicine through the catheter.
  • Your child has special health care needs that were not covered by this information.