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December 21, 2000

Insulin Pumps

Question from Australia:

Pump therapy is just becoming available in Australia and I am keen for my six year old daughter, diagnosed four years ago, to go on the pump. She is also very keen. I have been researching, but there are a couple of areas I am having trouble finding information:

Do you have any statistics on death rates associated with children who are on pumps?
Do children who suffer from lipohypertrophy have a reduced or increased incidence at the cannula site?


From: DTeam Staff

No real statistical information on either of these questions is available. Having prescribed insulin pumps for more than 20 years, I would suggest that those with lipohypertrophy with shots also have similar, but somewhat reduced problems, with pumps. However, since there is no cloudy insulin (we now only use lispro instead of Regular insulin), there is less local irritation occurring. Wide site rotation will help with pump use as well as with injections when hypertrophy occurs.

There does not appear to be any obvious increase in deaths from pump use. I assume you are worried about hypoglycemia-related sudden and unexplained deaths. If anything, the data analysis suggests in adults, and probably also in children and teens, that there is less hypoglycemia. So, I would surmise that there would be no increase and most likely a decrease with appropriate pump use.