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October 14, 2003

Insulin Pumps

Question from Newtown, Pennsylvania, USA:

My daughter has recently switched to an insulin pump that calculates the "active insulin" when determining appropriate bolus dosages. I am surprised to see nearly 50% of the insulin remaining after four hours, since I thought that Humalog was used up completely in two to four hours. I have looked at the active insulin curve, but I am still uncomfortable with relying on this model, since we have been dosing without it for several years, with pretty good results (hemoglobin A1c: 6.9%). Do you have an opinion on relying on this option in the pump? Do you think the calculated dosages, taking the active insulin into consideration, are accurate? The manufacturer's site does not provide the level of information I am seeking.

Answer:

You should discuss these questions specifically with your daughter’s diabetes team. The data needed to utilize this computer algorithm look good but her team will know the answers to such questions.

SB