4 FAQs about water activities
We've been talking a lot this summer about summer vacations, repelling down waterfalls and preventing moisture damage to your pump. Today, we welcome back Amy Kellerman, a product specialist on our insulin delivery marketing team, to continue on that theme to talk about what to do with your pump and CGM for different water situations.
It's that time of year when we all want to get out of the summer heat and go for a refreshing swim. However, you might be wondering what you can and can't do with your insulin pump and CGM in water situations.
While manufacturers design insulin pumps to be sturdy (Medtronic pumps are actually made from the same material as motorcycle helmets!), any durable pump can develop tiny cracks that make it susceptible to water damage. Often you can't even see these micro-cracks, but they're there thanks to all those little bumps and drops that come with living with your pump every day.
That's why we make our pumps water resistant, meaning they can withstand rain or accidental splashes, but you should avoid submerging your pump in water.
So, what does that mean for your daily life? Check out answers to some of your most frequently asked questions on water activities.
What do I do with my pump when I take a shower?
Hopefully, this is your most common water activity :-). As you probably already know, just disconnect the pump and belt out your favorite shower song without worrying about possible water damage due to micro-cracks (or trying to find a place to put your pump).
What should I do with my pump when I go swimming?
Since your Medtronic pump is splash proof, but not waterproof, you don't want to submerge it in water. If you are going to swim, surf, snorkel or enjoy any other water activity, disconnect from your insulin pump for up to one hour and put it someplace safe. After all, your pump is an important, expensive and sensitive piece of medical equipment. You don't want to lose it at the bottom of a lake or ocean! So, splash freely! And if you're new to the big waves, go see our favorite California girl, Karmel Allison for some first-time surfer/pumper tips. Of course, while you're disconnected, be sure to test often and be prepared with both fast-acting insulin and glucose. And talk with your healthcare provider to establish a plan if you're going to regularly disconnect for swimming or other activities.
What if I get stuck in the rain with my pump?
If you get stuck in one of those balmy August t-storms, just dry off your pump when you get inside and continue to use it normally.
What should I do with my CGM while in the water?
Once the MiniLink transmitter (the part shaped like a seashell) and sensor are connected, they form a water-tight seal to a depth of 8 feet for up to 30 minutes. So you can shower and swim without removing them. But you'll want to avoid taking really hot baths or soaking in a jacuzzi, since the really hot water can reduce the sensor's life. The Guardian® REAL-Time monitor is not waterproof so you should store it someplace safe during water activities. Your pump or Guardian® REAL-Time monitor won't display current CGM data if it's out of range (beyond 6 feet). However, the MiniLink does have 40 minutes of memory that will be communicated to the pump once you're back in range (whether or not you're connected to the pump). If you're away for more than 40 minutes, you will see a data gap when you upload to CareLink. To sum it up, enjoy these last few weeks of summer! Go body surfing, enjoy the water park, jump off the high dive or do some laps - without worrying about micro-cracks or feeding your precious pump to the fishies.
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.
Medtronic Diabetes Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Systems
- The information provided by CGM systems is intended to supplement, not replace, blood glucose information obtained using a home glucose meter. A confirmatory fingerstick is required prior to treatment. - Insertion of a glucose sensor may cause bleeding or irritation at the insertion site. Consult a physician immediately if you experience significant pain or if you suspect that the site is infected. Please visit MedtronicDiabetes.com/isi for complete safety information.