What is an Insulin Pump

woman reading insulin pump display

Insulin pumps are the size of a pager and fit in your pocket.

Most pumps are "worn" on a belt, carried in a pocket, or attached by a holster and connected by thin plastic tubing to the infusion set.

Insulin PumpAn insulin pump is a small, computerized device that is programmed to deliver insulin into the fatty tissue under the skin. The insulin pump is durable and lasts for years, but the insulin supply and certain pump components (insulin reservoir, tubing and infusion set) are changed every few days.

What are the basic components of an insulin pump?

The pump:

Most insulin pumps are about the size of a pager, and contain a reservoir of insulin, the pumping mechanism, battery, computer chip and screen. They are outside of the body, so they are called external pumps. Most pumps are “worn” on a belt, carried in a pocket, or attached by a holster and connected by thin plastic tubing to the infusion set.

Infusion set:

The infusion set is the “connector” that allows insulin to flow from the pump into the skin. It is attached to the skin with a strong adhesive. On the under side of the infusion set, there is a short, fine cannula, or tube, that passes through the skin and rests in the subcutaneous fatty tissue.

Tubing:

The tubing brings insulin from the pump (insulin reservoir) to the infusion set.

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