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Tips For Taking Care Of Your Insulin Pump

The insulin pump is a great device, but you’ll have to work with it carefully to ensure it’s working properly. That means following basic guidelines on battery life, cleaning and maintenance, and replacing or charging up batteries. You also need to know how best to keep your insulin cool and dispose of used syringes or vials safely. Here are some tips for taking good care of your insulin pump, one of a crucial diabetes accessory:

Replace the batteries or charge your pump regularly

A good rule of thumb is to replace your insulin pump batteries every three to six months, or sooner if the pump stops working.

If you’re using a pump that uses a charging system, be sure to charge it every night before going to bed. You can also use an emergency charger if you’re away from home and don’t have access to a power source with which to recharge your battery pack.

Diabetic supply experts like Tandem Diabetes say they “Offer the only rechargeable insulin pump on the market.”

Be sure to dispose of used syringes and vials properly

When you’re done using a syringe or vial, be sure to dispose of it properly. Never flush used needles down the toilet or sink. Doing so can cause serious illness and injury to both animals and people. Instead, use an FDA-approved sharps container to dispose of your used syringes and vials.

These containers are designed specifically for the safe disposal of medicine injectables and sharps waste products. You should also be sure that your sharps container is kept out of reach from children or anyone else who might come across it accidentally (like pets).

Keep your insulin cool

Keeping your insulin cool is probably one of the most important things to remember when it comes to taking care of your pump.

Insulin is a medication and just like any other medication, it can lose potency over time if it gets too hot or too cold. So avoid leaving your pump in the sun or in a hot car, and don’t keep it in the freezer since that can also affect its potency. Your best bet for keeping insulin cool (and safe) is by storing it at room temperature as recommended by the manufacturer or by bringing along an insulated bag with ice packs if you’re going somewhere where there isn’t an easy way to keep things cool.

Clean the pump before changing insulin reservoirs

To clean the pump, remove the battery cover and batteries, and then remove the infusion set. Wipe down with a damp cloth or rinse under water to remove any debris that may have accumulated on it (this is especially critical if you’re using your pump in an area where food is present).

Test the pump’s infusion set

If you change the infusion set daily, test it immediately after each change. Use a blood glucose meter (available at most pharmacies) to perform an insulin-to-blood glucose test on the new set. If your test results are normal, use the infusion set. If your results are abnormal, discard that portion of the system and start over with another portion of the system or get a new one altogether.

As you can see, insulin pumps are a very effective means of managing diabetes. But just like any other piece of equipment, they require some maintenance to keep them running smoothly. Use these tips to keep your pump in tip-top shape and avoid errors or malfunctions that could put your health at risk.

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