Friday, 9 March 2012

Insulin Pump dictionary

It comes to mind that I am talking about an insulin pump using words that not everyone may understand...especially if you don't have an insulin pump and are just considering one. 

Basal rate: the amount of insulin required throughout the day (acts like your "long lasting" insulins under a traditional syringe based insulin regime.  With most insulin pumps, you have a variety of basal rates that you can program for different times of the day, allowing for more personalized insulin delivery than the "long lasting" insulins.

Bolus: this in the amount of insulin that your insulin pump gives yo, usually when you are eating a meal.  Based on carbohydrate counting, and a "wizard" installed on most insulin pumps, your insulin pump figures out how much insulin is required, down to the tenths or even hundredths of a unit!

Cannula: a thin tube that sits under your skin, held in place held in place with an adhesive.  The cannula has a opening to which you attach the tubing that runs to your insulin pump.  This can be angled or be at a 90-degree angle.  The cannula is inserted subcutaneously with a needle inside the cannula....the needle is then pulled out, leaving the cannula firmly in place.

Extended Bolus: a feature included in most insulin pumps allowing you to bolus over a certain amount of time.  This is helpful in situations like when you are eating over a period of time, having a high fat meal, or consuming a very large meal.  An extended bolus can give an even amount of insulin over the time programmed ("square-wave") or give a larger dose initially followed by a lower steady dose ("dual-wave").

Infusion set: the adhesive patch that holds your cannula in place on your skin.

Insulin On Board (IOB): a calculation usually viewable on your insulin pump that shows you how much insulin is still active in your body (your diabetic educator will help you set this up).

Priming: the process of setting up your insulin pump every third day (at the most) to let the pump accept another reservoir and fill the new tubing set with insulin.

Reservoir: a small container in which you fill with enough insulin to last you up to three days.  This reservoir is placed inside the insulin pump and the insulin is pushed up into the tubing, and into your body through a cannula.

Subcutaneous:  just under the skin.

I hope this helps in your understanding of different insulin pump terminology.

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