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Insulin pump

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An Insulin Pump is a mechanical device that injects fast-acting insulin into the body in pre-prescribed amounts and set times. Insulin pumps are used by people with diabetes to manage their blood glucose levels.


Basic Parts

An insulin pump consists of a screen, buttons for programming the pump's internal computer, a cartridge filled with rapid-acting insulin and a tiny motor that pushes precise amounts of insulin from the cartridge through a tube and into the body through an infusion set. An infusion set is a tiny tube that is inserted with a needle, or cannula, under the skin for delivering the insulin. The infusion set is inserted manual or using an insertion device and should be moved every 2 to 3 days. It can also be removed quickly for activities such as bathing or contact sports. Insulin pumps can be clipped to the pants and hidden under clothes, so they are very discreet.

Obtaining an Insulin Pump

An insulin pump can be issued only by an endocrinologist. Its use must be monitored closely by an endocrinologist and a certified diabetes educator.

Insulin Pumps and the Blind

There are many accessibility concerns for people who are blind and need to use an insulin pump. Many people who have diabetes also suffer from a complication of diabetes known as diabetic retinopathy, a condition that is caused by blood vessels in the retina bursting and bleeding into the eye. This condition can lead to partial and complete blindness. Many insulin pumps are not designed with the Blind in mind, thus it is important for users to work closely with a diabetes educator who can teach them how to properly use the device.[1]


  1. Burton, Darren and Craig Swisher and Mark Uslan. "Diabetes and Visual Impairment: Are Insulin Pumps Accessible?." AFB AccessWorld. American Federation for the Blind. March 2004. Accessed on February 25, 2008.

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