Diabetes insulin pump

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Diabetes insulin pump

An insulin pump (diabetes pump, insulin pump) is a special device for continuous subcutaneous administration of insulin to patients with diabetes mellitus. The device significantly improves the quality of life of people suffering from this disease and avoids “surges” in blood sugar, which means it helps to reduce the risks of diabetes complications. Diabetes mellitus in children and adolescents is another indication for using this device.

Insulin pump device

The pump is a fairly complex electronic device, which consists of three main parts:

– display and control panel;

– a cartridge containing insulin;

– a system of tubes for subcutaneous administration of the hormone. 

There are a lot of manufacturers specializing in the manufacture of devices. The following models are most common: Accu-check pump (Assu-Check), Medtronic pump (Medtronic), Accu-check combo (Accu-Check Combo), and Omnipod pump (OmniPod).  

Modern devices are extremely smart and can replace the many daily injections of the hormone. For the pump, only short and ultrashort insulin is used. Replaceable disposable sterile cartridges with these hormones are currently sold, which further simplifies the use of the device and reduces the risk of infectious complications. When using a pump, children with diabetes can more easily adapt to their disease and avoid a number of psychological problems associated with the need for injections. Diabetes mellitus in pregnant women is another reason to use the pump at least during the period of gestation. 

How the insulin pump works

The principle of operation of the device is quite simple and maximally approximates the mode of artificial insulin administration to its normal excretion in healthy people. There are two main modes of operation of the device: hormone administration and. 

The basal dose regimen involves the continuous administration of the hormone to maintain its concentration in the blood at a constant level between meals and at night. In fact, this regimen replaces injections of extended insulin, which a sick person must do at least twice a day (depending on the specific type of insulin).

The bolus regimen replaces the hormone populations of short or ultrashort action in connection with a meal. The person selects the amount of insulin administered for the basal dose and bolus administration for himself, based on the recommendations of the doctor and his lifestyle.

Thus, with the acquisition of a pump in humans, the need to do injections disappears.

Types of bolus administration and basal profiles

Modern pumps have different types of bolus administration, which allow you to choose the optimal treatment regimen depending on the type of food eaten. For example, if a person eats carbohydrate-rich foods, he chooses a regimen that implies the fastest possible administration of insulin, which contributes to the quick return of blood glucose to normal values. If a person eats food rich in protein and poor in simple carbohydrates, he must choose a regimen. In this case, insulin is injected and distributed more slowly, and blood sugar levels decrease smoothly. The more modern the pump, the more modes it has.

For the basal dose, there are also different profiles that allow you to change the speed of administration and the amount of insulin depending on the time of day and physical activity.

Insulin Pump Disadvantages

The device has several disadvantages: 

– the high cost of the pump and supplies;

– Some patients find the pump uncomfortable;

– the possibility of a program failure or mechanical damage to the insulin cartridge or tubes.

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