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May 22, 2003

Insulin Pumps

Question from Sacramento, California, USA:

I feel that my less than two year old's body is too small to support the weight of a pump. Is it possible for her to use an insulin pump at night and then disconnect it during the day except to bolus for meals?

Answer:

The only published experience with doing this is in school-aged children (See Kaufman FR. Halvorson M.Kim C. Pitukcheewanont P. Use of insulin pump therapy at nighttime only for children 7-10 years of age with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 23(5):579-82, 2000 May). I guess the same sort of issues might apply to a toddler who is in daycare with providers who can’t care for the insulin pump. Carrying the weight of a pump is not an issue in small children because the pumps are so small, but it is critical that the diabetes team is familiar with the differences in pump therapy (basal rate profiles, corrective doses) between toddlers and older children and adults in order to use pump therapy effectively.

LAD