What care should I take while using insulin pumps?

William Lee Dubois
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism
Check your blood sugar more often than you did when you used shots. The pump replaces your long-acting insulin with a steady drip of fast-acting insulin. If delivery stops, in four hours there won’t be a drop of insulin left in your body, and that can become a medical emergency with quite some speed.
Insulin pumps are very well built, and have a number of built in backups and self checks to ensure that they are working properly. That said, anything made by humans can malfunction  (Apollo 13 comes to mind).
Pump failures do occur. But they are rare. More frequently, the infusion set, the hub that’s taped onto your body that is the connector between you and your pump can get pulled out. The hoses seem to especially like getting snagged on door handles and stove knobs in my experience. If you notice your blood sugar is going up and does not respond to a correction, check your site. If your sugar continues to rise, even after two corrections, change the site, even if it looks OK. Which serves as a great intro to our next subject: your “go bag.”
All pumpers should carry a small bag of emergency supplies that includes at least one spare infusions set and reservoir, insulin, batteries, and fast-acting sugar to correct low blood sugars.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.