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Insulin pumps are medical devices used to administer insulin to a patient for the treatment of diabetes. The device consists of a pump (including controls, a processing module, and batteries), a disposable reservoir for insulin, and a disposable infusion set. The infusion set includes a cannula for under-skin insertion and a tubing system to interface the insulin reservoir to the cannula.

 

insulin pumps selection guide

The components and operation of an insulin pump.

Image credit: ADAM/HealthCentral

 

Insulin pumps are adjustable according to the medication dose desired. For example, most pumps default to continuous delivery of insulin to maintain blood glucose levels, but patients can increase doses when eating carbohydrates or to lower previously-high glucose levels. (These dose types are referred to as basal and bolus, respectively.) Specialized devices known as closed loop pumps, however, automatically adjust dosage based on blood glucose readings, although these are not yet commercially available.

 

Depending upon the sophistication of the device, insulin pumps may feature automatic shut-off sensors, touch screens, and rechargeable batteries.