Input:JDRF’s views on pump choice
Input:JDRF firmly believes that the choice of pump should be made after discussions between the patient/carer and their diabetes care team. In our experience, the best clinics tend to offer a choice of pumps. Pumps are attached to us and we interact with them several times a day, so it is important that we fully accept and choose to engage with the one we have. However, some clinics do not yet offer a choice. Choice tends not to be offered for one of two main reasons: clinic staff have not yet been trained on other makes of pump or the hospital (‘acute care trust’) has an exclusive contract with one pump supplier.
While a choice of pumps is ideal from our perspective, it remains the case that ANY pump is better than NO pump: all current pumps offer a variety of programmable basal rates, a tool to help you determine how much insulin to bolus and a degree of water resistance. There is no clinical evidence that one make of pump necessarily leads to better diabetes control compared to another. However, if you would have difficulty seeing the screen or refilling the make of pump offered by your clinic, a choice of pump could be considered a clinical need. If your clinic doesn’t offer the make of pump you prefer, you can choose your battle (as they say). Read more about making a case for choice.
Whilst we do not support clinics or CCGs restricting choice, we would like to provide some thoughts on points we often hear from people who want a pump other than what’s on offer. Read on for short reviews submitted by pump users (and a form to submit your own review if you currently use a pump).
What people would like to see
‘I want a waterproof pump because I like to swim.’ All pumps are splashproof and you can buy waterproof cases. Many people remove their pump for swimming or watersports (activity usually means you need less insulin anyway) and re-attach every hour or so for a quick top-up of the missed basal insulin.
‘I want a pump without tubing because I don’t want people to see it.’ Some people consider that a pump with tubing actually offers greater choice of where to wear your pump discreetly. The profile of the infusion set left behind after you disconnect a pump with tubing is much smaller than the profile of a tube-free pump that contains your insulin and which must remain in place for the full 3 days.
‘I don’t like the idea of being attached so I want a pump without tubing.’ Many of us who have a pump with tubing felt the same way at one time. Just like specs, contact lenses, a wedding ring or a wristwatch, a pump with tubing can take some getting used to but many people would agree that they feel wrong without their pump on after getting used to it.
‘I want a pump with CGM.’ Some people consider it better to have a stand-alone receiver for their CGM so that they can check the readings without having to get their pump out from their clothing. With a stand-alone CGM, parents can keep an eye on their children’s readings without having to fish the pump out of bedding or stop the child playing.
‘I want an integrated pump handset and glucose monitor.’ Some people stay motivated by getting a new blood glucose meter from time to time. If you have an integrated pump handset & meter, you will not have this option unless/until the manufacturer of your system releases an upgrade you can access under the terms of your pump warranty.
Pump user reviews
Check out our table of insulin pump user reviews for a quick and easy comparison.
Inspired to submit* your own review? Complete a short questionnaire.
*All submissions are moderated and may be edited slightly for length and clarity.