An insulin pump is a small battery-operated electronic device that holds a reservoir of insulin. It is about the size of a mobile phone and is worn 24 hours a day. The pump is programmed to deliver insulin into the body through thin plastic tubing known as the infusion set or giving set. The pump is worn outside the body, in a pouch or on your belt. The infusion set has a fine needle or flexible cannula that is inserted just below the skin where it stays in place for two to three days.
Only fast acting insulin is used in the pump. Whenever food is eaten the pump is programmed to deliver a surge of insulin into the body similar to the way the pancreas does in people without diabetes. Between meals a small and steady rate of insulin is delivered.
Hannah Reeve our Diabetes Educator is conducting pump starts with the latest Tandem t:slim X2
The insulin pump is not suitable for everyone. If you’re considering using one, you must discuss it first with your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator.
Research has shown that insulin pump therapy can reduce the frequency of severe hypoglycaemia as well as improve quality of life. Using a pump may also improve suboptimal blood glucose control.
It is important that you have realistic expectations about pump therapy. It is not a cure for people who require insulin to manage their diabetes but a way of delivering insulin that may offer increased flexibility, improved glucose levels and improved quality of life.
Pump therapy requires motivation, regular blood glucose checking, the ability to learn pump technology and the willingness to keep in regular contact with your diabetes educator or endocrinologist for review and adjustment of pump rates.