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Everything You Need to Know When It Comes to Having a Backup Plan for Your Insulin Pump

Insulin pumps are a great way to manage diabetes. Pump therapy provides tighter control of blood glucose levels and provides more freedom with day-to-day activities. However, like any piece of technology, insulin pumps can fail. If your pump stops working, it is important to have a backup plan in place.

Here are some tips for creating a backup plan for your insulin pump:

  • Talk to your doctor or diabetes educator. They can help you create a plan that is right for you.
  • Have a supply of long-acting insulin, insulin syringes, or insulin pens on hand. This will help you cover your basal needs and your meals while you are waiting for a new pump.
  • Always make sure you have a valid prescription for your long-acting and short-acting insulins.
  • Contact your pump manufacturer and let them know your pump has failed and that you need a replacement pump.  Keep your manufacturer’s phone number programmed in your smartphone or written down.
    • Medtronic P: 800-646-4633 then press Option 1
    • Tandem P: 877-801-6901
    • OmniPod P: 800-5941-3455

Additional tips to remember:

  • Know your pump settings. Keep a list of your pump settings stored in your smartphone or have a written record of your settings (total basal dose, Insulin to carb ratio, Insulin sensitivity/correction factor, and target blood sugar).
  • Keep your backup supplies in a safe place.
  • Review your backup plan regularly. Make sure it is still up-to-date and that you are comfortable with it.

Author: Mary Ellen Young, RN, CDCES, CPT | CCS Health

This site is for educational purposes only. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider before making any decisions about your health.