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6 Tips For Your Insulin pump!

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Insulin pumps are like lifelines for old diabetics. If care is taken of these insulin pumps, it will help in increasing their 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.

If you are wearing a pump, where it is in direct contact with your skin, make sure all the 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 waterproof, 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.

Insulin pumps have a very important function for a diabetic patient as these pumps can release small doses of insulin continuously (basal), or a bolus dose close to mealtime to control the rise in blood glucose (blood sugar) after a meal. This delivery mimics the body’s normal release of insulin.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj – M.B.B.S, M.D.
  • Store it in a Cool and Dry Place

Keep your pump, blood glucose meter, infusion sets away from heat and store in a cool and 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.

The insulin pump may integrate with your continuous glucose monitor (CGM) to help understand how your blood glucose is being affected and change the amount of insulin in some cases, always remember that whether or not to use a pump is a personal decision.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj – M.B.B.S, M.D.
  • 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 connected 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.

Any area of skin with a reasonable fat pad (able to “pinch an inch”) is “fair game” for placing a pump infusion set. The abdomen is generally easiest to see and reach, and is a good place for new pump users. Other common sites are the upper buttocks, outer thigh, hip flexor, back of the arm, lower back, and flanks.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD
  • 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, it is a 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 sanitisers. 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 safety measures for health. For more blogs related to insulin, read here!

Read More: Insulin Resistance: Symptoms, Causes, Effects & Tests

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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