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September 29, 2000

Insulin Pumps

Question from Mamaroneck, New York, USA:

My seven year old son has had diabetes since age two. His levels have been high and low. He went to a diabetes camp and is now interested in pump therapy. I am all for it. Is it painful to insert the infusion? Is there a high risk of getting infected sites? If he does get an infection, is it dangerous? If it is painful he might change his mind about pump therapy.

Answer:

Insulin pump therapy is hard work for parents and for kids with diabetes — but it’s an excellent way to deliver insulin since it is closer to the way the pancreas used to do it. Two great books are published by MiniMed and available at their website. One is entitled Teens Pumping It Up: Insulin Pump Therapy Guide for Adolescents and the other is entitled The insulin Pump Therapy Book. They discuss all the practical issues of pump therapy. There was also a recent article in Diabetes Forecast (published by the ADA) that focused on pump treatment for kids.

You should talk with your son’s pediatric endocrinologist. More and more children are using insulin pumps quite successfully and without excessive pain at catheter insertion sites or infections.

SB