A wise man once said, “Confidence comes from being prepared” and, as educators, this is exactly how we’d like patients living with diabetes to feel, day to day, while on insulin pump therapy. While the Covid-19 pandemic (and the years that have followed) has shown us that issues are bound to happen , we aim to help you prepare patients to ensure they feel confident and competent to handle whatever comes their way. With that said, developing a backup plan ahead of time with your patient is key.
Remember, if your patient is unable to use their pump for any reason, they will need to revert to multiple daily injections (MDI). A comprehensive backup plan for MDI outlines specific instructions for both short- and long-acting insulins, along with how much of each insulin the patient should take. This should be based on their individual needs and can help enhance their experience as well as set them up for success despite the situation. During training, patients should be encouraged to keep extra supplies on hand; these should include infusion sets, batteries, tape, and test strips. Most importantly, along with a backup supply of insulin pens and pen needles, patients should always have both short and long-acting insulin on hand. Having an up-to-date prescription for both insulins is also recommended. Remember, they may not even need to use these…but it’s best to be prepared!
Lastly, once your patient is able to go back on their pump, it’s important they transfer their most up-to-date basal and bolus settings onto their replacement pump. While some patients may know their settings, it is a best practice for them to have these recorded as part of their backup plan. As a reminder, for assistance, patients can call the 24-Hour Technical Support line at 1-800-646-4633 option 1.