What should I do if my pump fails?

2 minute read
Posted by Daniel Bestvater RPh, CDE - T1 1977, Pumper 20+ years on Sep 12, 2018 1:49:57 PM
Daniel Bestvater RPh, CDE - T1 1977, Pumper 20+ years

Back up plan blogHave you ever thought about what you would do if something happened to your insulin pump?

Here are a few scenarios that I came across as a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE);

  • I jumped into a swimming pool while in Panama and forgot to take my pump off, one flash and the screen went blank! I really thought it was waterproof!
  • I went on an amazing ride at Universal Studios Orlando, I really thought my pump was securely clipped on! It did not look well laying on the cement under the ride.
  • My pump was waterproof when I received it so I thought water skiing with it on would be alright; I didn't plan on wiping out!
  • I had a great trip to the UK, luckily my pump broke my fall on that last set of stone stairs. "One crunch and it was over!"
  • I now understand the pendulum effect--brick wall meets swinging pump!
  • My dog likes anything he can sink his teeth into, why did I leave my pump beside his food bowl!

Okay, I can honestly say that as a pumper for 20 plus years I have had more than a few mishaps with my pump! To quote my understanding wife of 30 years "You are an accident waiting to happen!" I will admit that I am not the most cautious person, but really your pump should not hold you back in any way!

How you can be prepared if your pump fails

  • know your average 24 hour basal dose from your pump (write them down here)
  • know your insulin to carb ratio (I:C)
  • write down your correction factor, or insulin sensitivity factor (ISF)
  • have back up basal(long acting) insulin on hand, for example Lantus or Tresiba
  • have back up rapid insulin on hand, Humalog, NovoRapid, Apidra or Fiasp
  • having these insulins in pen form can be very convenient when travelling
  • don't forget insulin pen tips
  • have a written plan that you have reviewed with your Health Care Provider

The bottom Line

With Type 1 diabetes it is of critical importance that our bodies receive an uninterrupted flow of insulin 24 hours a day.

  • having a "Back Up Plan" in place can reduce the need to worry both while travelling and at home
  • know how to transition from pump to insulin pens "Just in Case"
  • you may want to discuss a long weekend insulin pen trial run with your Healthcare provider
  • when you travel always carry back up, be prepared

Download Dan's Pump Back-up Plan and be prepared for the next time something unfortunate happens to your insulin pump. 

 Back-up Plan

Tags: managing diabetes, diabetes control, going on vacation with diabetes, traveling with diabetes, children with diabetes, life with diabetes, Animas®insulin pump, Tandem® t:slim X2, Medtronic insulin pump, Animas insulin pump, diabetes tips, insulin pump, type 1 diabetes


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