An insulin pump is a small medical device that delivers small amounts of fast acting insulin to the body throughout the day. It is usually the size of a very small cellphone or pager. It is a life saving tool for people with diabetes. Insulin pumps are a convenient and more discreet alternative to constantly injecting yourself with insulin. It takes away the need for a rigid diet to maintain the right insulin levels. They deliver a more accurate amount of insulin to the body making it easier to maintain steady glucose levels.
However, insulin pumps are more expensive than using a traditional insulin syringe. The patient wears the insulin pump so they have to be more careful when doing active sports that may damage the pump.
Here are some things to consider to help you find a diabetic insulin pump:
Check the Features. Look for a pump that lets your program several Basal Profiles. There should also be a temporary basal profile. It should deliver the insulin quickly. Here are other features to look for:
- Size of reservoir – The size of your cartridge depends on your needs. Currently, 480 basal doses is the largest available cartridge today. A larger cartridge means you don’t have to replace it often.
- Built in calculator – so you can compute and adjust your insulin intake based on what you have eaten.
- Alarm – Some models will beep when it is time to dispense, while others set off an alarm if there is a blockage or if batteries need to be replaced.
- Back up pump
- Battery consumption – Some models drain batteries quickly. Choose one that is energy efficient
- Lock – Does it use a standard Luer Lock? This means your pump will be compatible with standard infusion sets, as compared to a proprietary infusion set (which means it will only work for that particular brand of pump).
Go with a brand with excellent customer service. After you buy your insulin pump, you want the peace of mind that should you have a problem with your unit, a 24 hour customer service number is available for you to provide assistance. They should be able to send a replacement unit immediately should you need one. Also, a 4-year warranty is standard for most models today.
Hold the product. This is purely a personal choice. Before you buy, take the product out of the box and hold it. You will be using this tool constantly so it has to feel right just for you. It’s just like picking a cellphone. You go with what you feel comfortable with.
Talk to others. Talk to your doctor for recommendation. Talk to other patients to get feedback on the models they currently use.
Consider who will use the pump. Insulin pumps are generally made for adults, but if a child will be the one to use it, get one that is durable and easy to use. For children, there are decorative cases and accessories you can buy to make the insulin pump look more child friendly.
Check out the site diabetes.net.com for a side by side comparison of the different brands and models available in the market today. It will help you narrow down your choices by listing the different features of each model.
Your diabetes insulin pump will stay with you for a long time, so it’s worth the investment and the effort you put into choosing the best one for your needs.