An insulin pump is a small device that mimics some of the ways a healthy pancreas works. It delivers continuous and customized doses of rapid-acting insulin 24 hours a day to match your body's needs. The pump provides insulin to your body in two ways:
1. Insulin Pump
An insulin pump is a small, durable electronic device used to program your insulin and display how you are tracking. The device also includes a reservoir compartment.
2. Infusion Set
An infusion set includes a thin cannula that goes from the reservoir to the infusion site on your body. The cannula is inserted into the site, similar to where you would give insulin injections. The infusion set should be changed every two to three days.
A reservoir is a plastic cartridge that holds the insulin and is locked into the insulin pump. A reservoir can hold up to 300 units of insulin and should be changed every two to three days.
You can further improve control by using some additional components:
Insulin pump technology offers numerous clinical benefits over multiple daily injection therapy.
Children and adolescents using MiniMed insulin pumps were four times4 more likely to reach their target A1C. A Medtronic pump and sensor system can also reduce low glucose episodes by up to 84% and lower the risk of long-term complications.5,6
Many people with insulin-dependent diabetes may benefit from an insulin pump but aren't aware of the benefits. In general, you may be able to get better control with an insulin pump if you experience any of the following:
Pump technology is not recommended for people:
Assumes four injections per day for 30 days and one infusion set change every three days.
Kaufman FR, et al. A pilot study of continuous glucose monitoring system. Diab Care. 2001:24:2030-2034
User Evaluations. Data on File, Medtronic MiniMed, Inc., Northridge, CA.
Battelino T, Conget I, Olsen B, et al. The use and efficacy of continuous glucose monitoring in Type 1 diabetes treated with insulin pump therapy: a randomized controlled trial. Diabetologia. 2012;55:3155–3162.
Doyle EA, Weinzimer SA, Steffen AT, Ahern JAH, Vincent M, Tamborlane WV. A randomized prospective trial comparing the efficacy of insulin pump therapy with multiple daily injections using insulin glargine. Diabetes Care. 2004;27(7):1554–1558.
Bode BW, Steed RD, Davidson PC. Reduction in severe hypoglycaemia with long-term continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion in Type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 1996;19:324–327.
The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial Research Group. The effect of intensive treatment of diabetes on the development and progression of long-term complications in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. N Engl J Med. 1993;329:977–986.
J. C. Pickup and A. J. Sutton Severe hypoglycaemia and glycaemic control in Insulin Dependent Diabetes: meta-analysis of multiple daily insulin injections compared with continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion Diabetic Medicine 2008 :25, 765–774.
Bergenstal RM, Tamborlane WV, Ahmann A, Buse JB, Dailey G, Davis SN, Joyce C, Perkins BA, Welsh JB, Willi SM, Wood MA; STAR 3 Study Group. Sensor-augmented pump therapy for A1C reduction (STAR 3) study: results from the 6-month continuation phase. Diabetes Care. 2011 Nov;34(11):2403-5. doi: 10.2337/dc11-1248. Epub 2011 Sep 20.
Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.