Properly caring for your insulin pump is important to help protect its longevity. We’ve compiled this list of “Best Practices” for you based on common questions from customers like you. Our devices are made to be durable enough to be part of your everyday life, but like anything, sometimes it’s important to go back to the basics of what works and what doesn’t so that it can last as long as possible. I know, a pump becomes a part of you (I’ve been pumping for almost 13 years!), but these are important good behaviors to keep in mind when using your pump daily.
1. Make Sure Your Hands Are Clean!
Avoid exposure to sunscreens, lotions, insect repellents, and household and organic cleaning agents. So if you’re spending the day cleaning or just put lotion on, be sure to wash and dry your hands before handling your pump after using these types of products.
2. Open and Close Your Battery Cap with a Coin
Use a thick coin, such as nickel or quarter, to open and/or close your battery cap. Tighten until the slot is horizontal to prevent it from overtightening.
Personal tip: I admit, I’ve used a butter knife to open mine (this is a no-no!). One thing that might help is to keep a coin nearby where you store your extra batteries. I recognized I normally change my pump battery in the kitchen while I’m changing my site, which is why it was always more handy to grab a knife from the drawer. Now I have a few quarters stored near my battery and haven’t had any issues.
3. Clean Your Pump with a Mild Detergent
When it’s time to clean your pump, wash your hands and use a cloth mixed with mild detergent, such as dish soap, and water, to wipe your pump clean. Do not place your pump under running water or submerge it into any liquid, and avoid cleaning it with household agents such as all-purpose cleaner, glass cleaner, hand sanitizer, or nail polish remover. There isn’t a set frequency of how often cleaning a pump is recommended, but it’s a good practice to keep your pump in good shape.
Here are a few additional cleaning tips:
- Use an alcohol wipe to disinfect your pump
- Use a dry, clean cotton tip to remove any battery residue from the battery cap
- Use a dry, clean cloth to remove battery residue from the battery compartment opening
4. Place Your Pump in a Case
Cases can help provide a cushion against bumps during your daily activities, and come in a variety of different materials and colors. Here’s a few of our favorite cases:
- Silicone skins: low-profile and cushion against day-to-day surface contact
- Sports cases: heavy-duty protection made from water and soil-resistant materials
- Pouches: act as a comfortable layer between your pump and skin
If you buy cell phone cases for your pump, make sure they don’t have a magnetic clasp because you don’t want your pump to sit next to a magnet for long periods of time.
Personal tip: I have also realized that keeping my pump covered in a case also makes it more protected when my pump hits the bathroom floor. (If you’re a pumper, you know what I mean!)
5. Wear Your Buttons Away From Your Body
If you wear your pump in a place where it touches your skin, make sure your pump buttons face away from your body to reduce moisture exposure. Here are a few ways you can wear your pump:
- Clip it to your waistband or belt
- Place the pump (with or without the clip) into the pocket of your pants
- Keep it in your shirt pocket
- Use the leg or thigh pouch to wear it around your thigh, calf, or ankle
Personal tip: The one time I’ve noticed that my pump is close to my skin is when I wear it in my bra. I make sure that the buttons are faced away from my skin (towards the material) and if it’s a really hot day, I put it in a bra pouch to keep it covered.
6. Exercise with Your Pump in a Case or on Your Belt
Working up a sweat feels good and helps cool down your body, but it can expose your pump to moisture without you even realizing it. Keep your pump dry while exercising and on hot days by wearing it in a case made from water-resistant materials, such as our sports or nylon case, and/or on your belt clip. If you decide to disconnect your pump while working out, make sure it’s put in a safe place.
7. Minimize Scanning Technology Exposure
Did you know that airport body scanners, X-rays, CT scans, PET scans, and MRIs can all interfere with your pump?
While going through airport security, be sure to remove both your pump and sensor if you’re going through the body scanner, but do not send the devices through the x-ray machine. As an alternative, you can go through an airport metal detector with your pump and CGM, or you can ask for a pat-down screening process.
If you’re going to the doctor’s office for an X-rays, CT scans, PET scans, and MRIs, be sure to disconnect from your pump prior to the body scan.
8. Disconnect for Water Activities and Saunas/Steam Rooms
Your pump is water-resistant, but not water-proof, so be sure to disconnect from your pump when participating in water activities, showering, or using the sauna or steam room.
If you’re going to be at the beach, pool, or waterpark all day, consider staying connected to your pump until entering the water or “splash zone,” and take breaks from the water when you need to reconnect. Talk with your family and friends to eliminate the chance of being pushed into the water while wearing the pump.
Saunas and steam rooms may not come to mind when you think of moisture, but they are high in heat and humidity, both which are bad for your pump and the insulin inside it. Disconnect from your pump before entering either of these.
While you’re disconnected, test your blood glucose (BG) often, and be prepared with fast-acting insulin and glucose. Be sure to talk with your healthcare team to establish a plan if you’re going to regularly disconnect for longer than one hour.
9. Store in a Dry Cool Place
If you disconnect from your pump, keep your pump, BG meter, and other diabetes supplies in a safe place, unexposed to direct heat and away from water. If your supplies must be outdoors, hide them in a bag, or under a few light colored towels, in a dry shady area. Since different items have different storage requirements, keeping them dry and close to room temperature will ensure that the pump and insulin will perform as expected when you reconnect.
10. Dry Your Pump and Use Self-Test
If you notice moisture on your pump, dry it off with a clean dry cloth. You can verify your pump is working properly by selecting Self-test from the pump’s Utilities Menu. If your hands are wet, be sure to dry them off before handling your pump.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
– Medtronic Diabetes insulin infusion pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and associated components are limited to sale by or on the order of a physician and should only be used under the direction of a healthcare professional familiar with the risks associated with the use of these systems.
– Successful operation of the insulin infusion pumps and/or continuous glucose monitoring systems requires adequate vision and hearing to recognize alerts and alarms.
Medtronic Diabetes Insulin Infusion Pumps
– Insulin pump therapy is not recommended for individuals who are unable or unwilling to perform a minimum of four blood glucose tests per day.
– Insulin pumps use rapid-acting insulin. If your insulin delivery is interrupted for any reason, you must be prepared to replace the missed insulin immediately.
Please visit http://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/important-safety-information for complete safety information.
Tags: diabetes care
, diabetes management
, insulin pump