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Insulin Pump

What If My Insulin Pump Malfunctions?

It is possible for insulin pumps to malfunction. There are several different ways this can happen. They can malfunction and provide too much insulin, which can be immediately life-threatening, or too little insulin, which could eventually become life-threatening. The alarms can malfunction, and the needles or cannulas can become blocked. However, taking good care of your pump, following all the instructions closely, and keeping an eye out for problems can help reduce the risk of pump malfunctions.

Is This Device Right for Me?

If you are not content with your current insulin therapy, you might want to consider an insulin pump. However, a pump might not be right for you if you:
  • Are able to adequately control your blood sugar with insulin injections
  • Are not willing to test your blood sugar often
  • Are unable or unwilling to do carbohydrate counting (or some other similar method for determining bolus dosing)
  • Have vision, hearing, or manual dexterity problems that limit your ability to properly use the pump
  • Do not like the idea of having something continuously connected to your body
  • Are not capable of learning how to operate and program the pump
  • Do not have a good understanding of the basal/bolus method of insulin therapy.

Affording an Insulin Pump

Fortunately, many insurance companies now cover insulin pumps, the necessary supplies, and insulin. However, if you do not have insurance or Medicaid or Medicare, the cost of an insulin pump can be overwhelming. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider about any available programs that can help you afford an insulin pump. Many manufacturers have programs to help people who cannot afford one, and there are a few foundations that will help uninsured individuals afford diabetes supplies. Your diabetes educator may be a great source of information about how to afford an insulin pump.
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