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Insulin Pump Therapy

6.1 Safety kit and precautions

When you’re on insulin pump therapy, you need to do 2 important things to stop DKA from happening:

  • Carry a safety kit.
  • Follow safety precautions. These are safety habits you follow to protect yourself from DKA.

Safety kit

Everyone with type 1 diabetes should carry a safety kit all the time. The kit includes a glucose meter and a fast-acting source of carbohydrate to treat low blood glucose.

But if you’re on an insulin pump, you need more items in your safety kit to help stop DKA. These include:

  • ketone testing supplies
  • insulin and syringe or insulin pen
  • items to keep the insulin pump working properly, like an extra infusion set and battery

Talk to your diabetes team about what items to keep in your safety kit.

Safety precautions

Because there’s a higher risk of DKA on insulin pump therapy, follow these safety precautions all the time:

  • Carry a safety kit.
  • Test your blood glucose at least 4 times a day (at meals and bedtime) even if you’re using a continuous glucose monitor. It can help you catch any issue before it becomes a big problem.
  • Check the infusion set or pod attachment 2 times a day.
  • Change the infusion set every 2 to 3 days or sooner.
  • Be ready to change the infusion set at any time, like when there’s a problem you don’t expect.
  • Check your blood glucose 2 hours after inserting a new cannula.
  • Have a written plan from your doctor or diabetes team for which insulin(s) and doses to inject with a syringe or insulin pen if the insulin pump stops working.
  • Follow all the guidelines to stop DKA if your blood glucose is over 14.0 mmol/L. These include:
    • checking for ketones
    • giving yourself insulin by syringe or pen when you need to
    • testing glucose and ketones more often
    • drinking more fluids
    • going to the emergency department if you have DKA symptoms
    • finding and fixing problems with the pump and infusion site​​