Insulin pump

An insulin pump is a small computerized device that delivers insulin into the body through a thin tube and needle inserted under the skin, usually in the abdomen. Insulin pumps can be programmed to deliver insulin in a small, continuous (basal) dose and in carefully planned doses delivered at specific times throughout the day.

Insulin pumps can be attached to a person's belt or put in a pocket. Because the pumps hold only a small supply of insulin, they must be refilled periodically.

Insulin pumps allow flexibility in how a person times his or her meals and snacks. The pumps may help some people to have fewer low blood sugar events (hypoglycemic episodes) than people who inject insulin. The insulin pump is designed to mimic the normal function of the pancreas.

Last Updated: October 3, 2008

Author: Caroline Rea, RN, BS, MS

Medical Review: Caroline S. Rhoads, MD - Internal Medicine & Matthew I. Kim, MD - Endocrinology & Metabolism

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