Insulin pumps are like lifelines for old diabetics. Insulin pump care will help in increasing its longevity. These devices are an everyday accessory like a watch or phone. Although they are durable, certain basic guidelines of maintenance should be followed to ensure hassle-free usage.
- Keep buttons away from the body
If you are wearing a pump, where it is in direct contact with your skin, make sure all buttons are placed in the opposite direction to your skin to repel moisture. You can clip the pump to your belt or a waistband, or put it in a shirt/trouser pocket. You can strap the pump to your thighs or ankles.
- Disconnect when performing water activities
If the pump is water resistant but not water proof, make sure you disconnect it before entering the pool, shower, or sauna room. In case you plan to be in the pool or a water park all day, make time to come out of the pool and reconnect the device to replenish insulin levels.
- Store in a cool, dry place
Keep your pump, blood glucose meter, infusion sets away from heat and store in a cool, dry place. If these devices are outdoors, keep them underneath a dry towel or in a bag. Keep them dry and close to room temperature to ensure proper Insulin pump care.
- Problems in infusion sets
When disconnecting an infusion set, make sure all bubbles are removed. All kinked tubing must be straightened. If there is blood in the cannula set, it must be replaced.
- Always keep it connected
Unless disconnecting it intentionally for activities like showering or swimming, the pump must remain connected at all times.
- Set reminder alarms for bolus doses
It is often noticed that children and even adults sometimes miss their bolus doses. Thus, when they show high blood glucose levels, the first thing is to check whether they have taken their bolus insulin dose from the display screen or connect the device to a computer. Setting a reminder alarm will go a long way to keep blood glucose levels normal, especially in school children, to avoid getting complaints from the staff nurse.
- Battery cap should be opened and closed with a coin
Keep a coin nearby when it is time to change the batteries. Use a thick coin to open the battery cap instead of reaching for a butter knife.
- Keep hands clean when handling the pump
Keep your hands off all lotions, sunscreens, creams, insect repellents, organic cleaning agents before handling your insulin pump. Wash your hands dry after you use such products.
- Clean the pump with a mild detergent
Though it is not mentioned after how long one should clean the pump, but it is recommended practice for Insulin pump care, to keep it in good condition by cleaning it from time to time. Use a mild detergent like dish soap and water. Avoid placing the pump under running water or submerging it under any liquid. Avoid cleaning it with glass cleaners, all purpose cleaners or hand sanitizers. Instead, use alcohol wipes to clean the pump. An effective insulin pump care measure would be to use a dry cloth to clean the battery storage area.
- Minimize exposure to any scanning devices
Exposure to X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and airport scanners can interfere with the activity of your pump. The next time you are at the airport, or for an MRI or PET scan, make sure you disconnect your pump. Do not pass the pump through an X-ray or MRI machine.
Follow the above mentioned tips for Insulin pump care and promote safe measures for health. For more blogs related to insulin, read here!