Insulin pump, showing an infusion set loaded into spring-loaded insertion device. A reservoir is attached to the infusion set (shown here removed from the pump).
An 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 configuration may vary depending on design. A traditional pump includes:
What Is Insulin Pump Therapy?
An insulin pump is a small device about the size of a small cell phone that is worn externally and can be discreetly clipped to your belt, slipped into a pocket, or hidden under your clothes. It delivers precise doses of rapid-acting insulin to closely match your body’s needs:
- Basal Rate: Small amounts of insulin delivered continuously (24/7) for normal functions of the body (not including food). The programmed rate is determined by your healthcare professional.
- Bolus Dose: Additional insulin you can deliver “on demand” to match the food you are going to eat or to correct a high blood sugar. Insulin pumps have bolus calculators that help you calculate your bolus amount based on settings that are determined by your healthcare professional.
- the pump (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.
Other configurations are possible. For instance, more recent models may include disposable or semi-disposable designs for the pumping mechanism and may eliminate tubing from the infusion set.
An insulin pump is an alternative to multiple daily injections of insulin by insulin syringes or an insulin pen and allows for intensive insulin therapy when used in conjunction with blood glucose monitoring and carb counting.