Podcast 711: Insulin Pumps - The Emergency Medical Minute

Podcast 711: Insulin Pumps

Contributor: Aaron Lessen, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • Insulin pumps provide a continuous infusion of fast-acting insulin using a basal rate and bolus prior to meals
  • Some connect to a continuous glucometer but often blood glucose needs to be checked manually
  • Hypoglycemia is rarely due to a malfunctioning pump – there is usually an another external factor
  • Hyperglycemia can be caused by underdosing, illness, pump malfunction or expired insulin
  • The pump can be used to give a bolus of insulin in the emergency department if necessary
  • Stopping the  device can be done manually on the device or disconnecting it from the tubing attachment – do not remove the tubing from the skin site if possible


Nimri R, Nir J, Phillip M. Insulin Pump Therapy. Am J Ther. 2020;27(1):e30-e41. doi:10.1097/MJT.0000000000001097

Sora ND, Shashpal F, Bond EA, Jenkins AJ. Insulin Pumps: Review of Technological Advancement in Diabetes Management. Am J Med Sci. 2019;358(5):326-331. doi:10.1016/j.amjms.2019.08.008

Summarized by John Spartz, MS4 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD


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