Insulin Pump Program

What are the advantages of insulin pump therapy?

  • Flexibility: There is no long-acting insulin needed-the pump uses short acting insulin only. The need to eat at specific times is no longer essential. 
  • More precise insulin doses: The dose of insulin is matched more closely to your insulin needs. Doses can be given to the 20th or 100th of a unit depending on which pump you choose.
  • Maintain better control: Blood glucose testing and remembering to bolus faithfully must continue. Corrective action will still need to be taken (change in basal/bolus) according to blood glucose test results. It is easier to manage the dawn phenomenon (high morning glucose), growth spurts, sleeping in, overnight lows, illness, sports/activity, and dealing with picky eaters.
  • Overall: The pump may or may not improve the diabetes control and minimize the wide swings in blood glucose. But as most insulin pumps offer automation, there is added control offered when you wear a sensor that works with the pump.
  • Freedom: Fewer shots are needed, and Many children/adolescents learn to program and maintain their own pumps with the assistance of parents.

What are the potential disadvantages of insulin pump therapy?

  • Risk of Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). This happens because the pump uses rapid-acting insulin, and there are no deposits of long-acting insulin that can act as a buffer if a dose is forgotten or insulin delivery fails. Any interruption in insulin delivery will cause a rise in blood glucose.
  • Ongoing commitment to the daily management and blood glucose testing. There will be even more frequent checking of blood glucose to assist in determining the best basal and bolus amounts of insulin to meet Food and activity needs.
  • Body image concerns. Some children do not like the idea of having a pump attached to them as a constant reminder of their diabetes.
  • Risk of infection at the insertion site. This can be prevented with good technique and site rotation every 2-3 days.
  • Cost. The process of going on an insulin pump to include the office visits, initial pump cost, monthly supplies and continuous glucose sensor can be several thousand dollars, depending on your insurance. Please contact your insurance company regarding coverage.

Insulin Pumps

Tandem
Omnipod
Medtronic

Sensors or Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGM’s)

Dexcom
Freestyle Libre
Guardian Sensor