insulin pumps

Potential Causes of Unexplained Hyperglycemia

Insulin Pump

  • Basal rate programmed incorrectly.
  • Pump malfunction; improperly advancing reservoir.
  • Program/pump alarms.
  • Insensitive occlusion alarm.


  • Improper placement in pump.
  • Empty syringe.
  • Insulin leakage at luer lock.

Infusion Set/Needle

  • Infusion set not primed.
  • Insulin leakage.
  • Needle or cannnula dislodged.
  • Air in infusion set (tiny bubbles will not affect blood glucose control, 1 inch of air = 1/2 unit of insulin).
  • Blood in infusion set.
  • Infusion set in over 48 hours.
  • Infusion set inserted at bedtime and no bolus given.
  • Kinked tubing.
  • Catheter occlusion.

Infusion Site

  • Redness, irritation, inflammation.
  • Discomfort.
  • Area of hypertrophy or scar tissue.
  • Area of friction on or near the belt line, leading to infusion set dislodgement.


  • Cloudy.
  • Beyond expiration date.
  • Exposed to temperature extremes.
Educational Treatment Unit
insulin pumps > potential causes of unexplained hyperglycemia