Pumping insulin is a great way to keep your blood glucose levels under control, but it’s not without its challenges. Like any other piece of technology, an insulin pump has to be taken care of. And like any other medication, there are things you can do to make it last longer and work better. In this article, you will learn some simple ways you can extend the life of your insulin pump and keep it running smoothly:
Keep the insulin pump out of hot places
Avoid keeping your pump in direct sunlight for long periods of time. You also don’t want to leave it in the car or anywhere else that might get hot. Finally, don’t leave your pump in the back pocket of your pants. This can affect its performance and potentially lead to a dangerous situation if you hit a bump while wearing them.
Dry the tubing properly
The best way to dry your pump is with a hair dryer. The light, warm air will help dry the tubing faster than anything else. Don’t use a heat gun or microwave because they can damage the plastic and cause it to break. Also, don’t use a hairdryer on the highest setting—it may burn through the tubing too quickly and damage your pump.
Use the proper cleaning supplies
You should clean your insulin pump at least once a week. Tandem Diabetes’ experts recommend, “You should use soap and water as long as it’s body-friendly and not perfumed, or you can use rubbing alcohol if you prefer.” Alcohol is also great for cleaning up spills on your skin, but don’t use it to clean the pump—it could damage the tubing and internal parts of the device.
If you want to follow best practices when handling your device, don’t use any substances other than those above-mentioned: no alcohol (including rubbing alcohol), bleach, household cleaners or anything else that could damage your pump’s components or cause bacterial growth inside its reservoirs.
Keep your insulin pump safe and sound
Here is how you can keep your insulin safe and sound:
- Don’t leave it in the car. The inside of a parked car can get hot enough to cause your pump to overheat, so make sure that you don’t leave it in the vehicle when it’s not being used.
- Don’t let it get too cold. If you’re going to be outside for long periods of time or going camping, make sure that you keep your insulin pump warm enough by putting it in a pocket or pouch with some heat pads, taking along an extra battery pack and charging cable if needed, etc.
- Don’t let someone else borrow yours without asking first! It may seem like an innocent mistake at first (like forgetting they just borrowed yours), but because there have been cases where people have taken advantage of others’ medical devices before or, even worse, stolen them outright, never let anyone borrow anything from you unless they ask first!
Insulin pumps are the most convenient way to deliver insulin. However, they are subject to wear and tear, which means you will have to replace them occasionally from insulin pump suppliers. It’s important that you know when it’s time to upgrade your device—and what steps you can take beforehand to make sure it runs smoothly for as long as possible.