Today’s pumps have a variety of ways in which they attach an infusion set or a patch pump itself to the skin to deliver insulin. The skin is prepared in a similar way for any of these variations. To prevent infections and the need for antibiotics or surgical drainage or hospitalization, always use sterile technique when setting up a skin site:
Insert the infusion set or patch pump into the skin or through IV3000™ adhesive by hand or with an inserter. Have a qualified instructor demonstrate how to insert your set or pump properly. Some people feel pain or discomfort when inserting needles or catheters. Numby Stuff® and LMX™ 4 cream can be used to reduce sensation, or EMLA, a prescription numbing cream, can be applied to the skin about an hour before inserting the infusion set.
There are a wide variety of Infusion Sets available. Many have an adhesive surface that sticks to the skin. Shown to the right is a Rapid set which has a small 90 degree needle thats easy to install. In this example, a paper covering is removed from the adhesive surface before placing it through the IV 3000 dressing on the skin.
For sites, most pumpers prefer the abdomen, but anywhere that has padding will do. The abdomen usually gives the fastest and most consistent absorption. You should stay at least 2 finger widths away from the navel for good absorption, and above or below the belt line. The upper buttocks, thighs and back of the upper arms also can be used. The buttock area often works best for young children because it is a large skin area that is out of sight. An area you can easily see is best when first starting on a pump or if you are having site issues.
Novolog, Humalog, and Apidra are all approved for pump use. Because it was the first rapid insulin available, many pumpers started out on Humalog and continue to use it successfully in their pumps, although some problems with Humalog stability have been noted.
Tapes, skin preparations, and transparent dressings can greatly aid safe pump operation.
Diabetes care has improved with many of the technological advances in the field. From improvements in insulin pumps and infusion sets to the implementation of continuous glucose monitors, technology is helping deal with diabetes easier than ever before. More technology companies are getting involved in diabetes everyday. In this section, you will find information on: