Insulin pump therapy

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What is a pump?

The insulin pump is not an artificial pancreas. Rather, it is computer-driven device that delivers fast-acting insulin in precise amounts at pre-programmed times. Wearing an insulin pump might require more work on your part than traditional injection therapy, especially if you are not used to checking your blood sugar several times a day. You must also learn to use the pump to deliver the extra insulin you require when you eat.

An insulin pump is small about the size of a mobile phone, worn outside the body, often on a belt or in a pocket. It delivers fast-acting insulin into the body via an infusion set — a thin plastic tube ending in a small, flexible plastic cannula or a very thin needle. You insert the cannula beneath the skin at the infusion site, usually in your abdomen or upper buttocks. You keep the infusion set in place for two to three days (sometimes more), and then move it to a new location. All insulin is delivered through the infusion set.

Why might you want a pump for your child?

Better control Ability to correct out of range blood sugar levels more often Pumps can deliver tiny amounts of insulin accurately – as small as 0.025U Pumps do all the maths for you. Pumps calculate doses and already active insulin. Reduces ‘insulin stacking’. Flexibility in meal timing and size, eating what you want, when you want. You do not have to eat at a certain time. Easy to cover snacks whenever wanted A freer lifestyle Ability to exercise without losing control Control while traveling (time zones etc) Erratic / spontaneous schedules Peace of mind To reduce wide blood sugar fluctuations Worrying less about hypos No problem with sleeping in late / staying up late Getting on with life – not an endless round of snacks and shots Fewer missed / skipped doses To improve control during growth spurts of adolescence To improve control during puberty

Children with diabetes – insulin pump talk handout 48kb PDF download

Comparison on pumps available in the UK 2011


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