The insulin pump is a small programmable device (about the size of a pager) that holds a reservoir of insulin. The pump is programmed to deliver insulin into the body through thin plastic tubing known as the infusion set or giving set. The pump is worn outside the body, in a pouch or on your belt.
The infusion set has a fine needle or flexible cannula that is inserted just below the skin (usually on the abdomen) where it stays in place for two to three days.
Only rapid acting insulins are used in the pump. Whenever food is eaten the pump is programmed to deliver a surge of insulin into the body similar to the way the pancreas does in people without diabetes. Between meals a small and steady rate of insulin is delivered.
The insulin pump is not suitable for everyone. So, if you’re considering using one, you must discuss it first with your diabetes health care team.
Insulin Pumps Available in Australia
To be suitable for a insulin pump therapy, you must have support from your health care team, a suitable level of hospital cover with a private health insurance fund or be eligible for a subsidy through the Australian Government Insulin Pump Programme.