Insulin Pump Therapy for Children with Diabetes
What is an Insulin Pump?
Insulin pumps are beeper-sized devices that contain a cartridge filled with fast-acting insulin. They have a screen and buttons for programming the pump's internal computer, and a sensitive motor that gradually pushes insulin from the cartridge through a tube and into the diabetic child.
The pump does not read blood glucose levels or automatically administer insulin.
How Do Insulin Pumps Work?
To get the insulin under a child's skin, an infusion set is worn.
Most infusion sets use a needle to insert a small, flexible plastic tube just under the skin (usually on the abdomen, buttocks or hip). When the needle is removed, the infusion set is taped securely in place. A new infusion set is inserted every two to three days.
Many infusion sets feature a "quick disconnect" mechanism that allows the user to temporarily unhook the pump and tubing for situations like bathing, contact sports and swimming.
The pump is usually worn on a belt/waistband or in a pocket. Pumps also have multiple safety features that ensure against accidental insulin delivery.
Advantages of Insulin Pump Therapy
Statistically, children that use insulin pumps have lower HbA1c's than kids that take shots.
Pumps also allow diabetic children to deliver more precise levels of insulin.
Insulin pumps may also offer more convenience and eliminate the need for multiple daily shots.
Learn More About Managing Children's Diabetes
Contact Phoenix Children's Hospital to learn more insulin pump therapy for children with diabetes.