Thursday, December 8, 2011

Which Pump?

Doing research when choosing an insulin pump can be quite overwhelming.  I've put together some things that may help someone just starting to do research....

- Discuss it with your endocrinologist (I specifically say endocrinologist because they are the experts)

- Do as much research as possible, get a notebook & write down what you learn, talk with others that wear the pump you are researching

- Make a list of questions and things that are important to you (remember all the pumps do the most important thing - deliver insulin, but features on each one may vary).  The Animas Ping Pump is waterproof, the Medtronic MiniMed Paradigm Revel offers an integrated CGM, and the OmniPod is tubeless.  Don't you just wish there was one pump that had all those features?  =)

- Visit the pump companies website and get a free information packet mailed to you

- Have the pump company check your insurance to see if it will be covered (having the pump company do this is better, they are the experts in dealing with insurance companies)

- Be patient.  Keep in mind your endocrinologist office may want you to take classes on pumping & the process is usually not instant.  Also, keep in mind that getting a pump does not mean you don't have to check your blood sugar.  It usually takes time to get the pump settings correct so you may need to check your blood sugar more than usual.

- Check out the pump companies policies.  Do they offer a loaner pump if going away on vacation and if they do, is it free?  What happens if your pump breaks?  Do they offer email customer service for non urgent issues?  What is their warranty policy?  If a updated pump is released after you get yours, do they offer an upgrade and if they do, how much will your out of pocket expense be?

- Keep in mind the things that are important to you.  Choosing a pump is usually personal preference.

One thing to keep in mind is reservoir/cartridge size, one of the pumps has the ability to hold 300 units of insulin in it as opposed to 200 units, think if this is important to you.  Would you even use 300 units in a 2-4 day time span?  Most doctors/pump companies recommend site changes every 2-4 days and most also recommend to do the site change and the reservoir/cartridge change at the same time, so you may not even use 300 units in the recommended time span.  However, you might use that much so keep this in mind to determine if this is important to you.

I have compiled a comparison list of 3 popular insulin pumps available in the US ~ Animas Ping, Medtronic MiniMed Paradigm Revel 723, and OmniPod ~ check out the list by visiting this link ~

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