Watch out for Your Insulin Pump’s Position

Just when you thought you had your pump all figured out, here’s something else to consider: A new study recently showed that the position of your insulin pump, relative to the placement of your infusion set, can impact rates of basal insulin delivery. Researchers found that raising or lowering your conventional pump (such as the Medtronic MiniMed and Deltec Cozmo), to the full extent of its tubing, can affect the accuracy of insulin delivery, particularly when you’re on low basal settings. At a 1 unit per hour rate, delivery was only ~75% of expected when insulin had to be pumped upward to the infusion site, but as high as 123% for downhill infusion. For higher basal rates of 1.5 units, the variation was 87-117%. By way of contrast, insulin delivery with the OmniPod pump, which has no external tubing, was not significantly different whether its delivery cannula was positioned up or down. Could these differences explain some of the variation you might have experienced in your blood glucose control? As a final note, this research was conducted by an independent investigator at the Sansum Diabetes Research Institute (Santa Barbara, CA), but funded by Insulet Corporation, manufacturers of the OmniPod pump, so we can only hope that its findings were completely unbiased.

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