Insulin pump

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The insulin pump is a medical device used for the administration of insulin in the treatment of diabetes mellitus, also known as continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion therapy. The device includes:

  • the pump itself (including controls, processing module, and batteries)
  • a disposable reservoir for insulin (inside the pump)
  • a disposable infusion set, including a cannula for subcutaneous insertion (under the skin) and a tubing system to interface the insulin reservoir to the cannula.

An insulin pump is an alternative to multiple daily injections of insulin by insulin syringe or an insulin pen and allows for intensive insulin therapy when used in conjunction with blood glucose monitoring and carb counting.

Contents

Setting up

To use an insulin pump, the reservoir must first be filled with insulin. Some pumps use prefilled cartridges that are replaced when empty. Most, however, are filled with the insulin prescribed for the user (usually Apidra, Humalog, or Novolog).

Setting up includes:

Dosing

An insulin pump allows the replacement of slow-acting insulin for basal needs with a continuous infusion of rapid-acting insulin.

The insulin pump delivers a single type of fast-acting insulin in two ways[1]:

  • a bolus dose that is pumped to cover food eaten or to correct a high blood glucose level.
  • a basal dose that is pumped continuously at an adjustable basal rate to deliver insulin needed between meals and at night.

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