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From Wilmington, North Carolina, USA:

I have been diabetic for 17 years and do fairly well, but my endocrinologist and I think it is time to try a pump. I have been doing a ton of research. I've talked to friends who have a pump, my educators, and pump sales people. I think I've narrowed it down to two choices, but wanted some more advice.

  1. Does anyone use the sensors? What has been their experience? I know that they are expensive, but I'm nervous about buying a pump and then finding out that the sensors are not very accurate. How well do they work?

  2. I've heard some real horror stories about broken pumps and customer service. What happens if my pump breaks?

  3. I'm a runner and have always had some difficulty with lows while running. Which pump is better for runners? Is a 0.025 basal helpful during long runs?


The current sensors sense blood sugar values via interstitial fluid. This is not real time even though one company has that name in it. It is a great trending device but not to be used for treatment decisions according to the FDA and rightfully so. The accuracy of the sensors is not as good as the monitors we use every day. As long as the sensors on the market have to be calibrated with a blood glucose monitor that means the gold standard is the monitor, not the sensor.

My suggestion would be to not make a decision on a pump based on a sensor. The sensors are in the early stage of development whereas the pumps have been around for many years.

Below is graphic of 40 minutes of exercise (Stairmaster) using the DexCom sensor while calibrating with a OneTouch Ultra glucose meeting. During this single bout of exercise, it showed a trend of the blood sugar dropping during the activity. The accuracy was confirmed every 10 minutes with a blood sugar check using the OneTouch Ultra.

Graph - click for larger image

In my opinion, the sensors available today are not ready for prime time. When algorithms are developed that can more accurately predict blood sugars and they do not have to be calibrated with blood sugar monitors, then they will have a major impact.

As for pumps breaking and how companies support this situation, it is best to talk to individual companies and check out our web site and Insulin pumpers. These devices are computers and customer support is just as important as the features on the pump. People may gravitate to a particular pump for its feature (i.e., 0.025 for insulin sensitive users), but it is important to know the customer service is there after the sale.


[Editor's comment: You can find information on pumps at our page, Insulin Pump Therapy. Furthermore, you may wish to look into the OmniPod insulin delivery system, which has no tubing. BH]

Original posting 23 Aug 2007
Posted to Insulin Pumps


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:12
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