insulin pumps

Disconnecting your pump


Reasons to disconnect from the pump

• Sports
• Swimming/showering
• Sexual activity
• Scanning (CAT scan, MRI…)
• Pump Vacation

Preventing gravity infusion

The pump user should never disconnect the tubing at the pump while the infusion set and tubing are still connected to the body.

Pump ON or OFF

Generally it is better to leave the pump "on" or in "run" when disconnecting briefly in order to prevent occlusions and to avoid having to remember to restart the pump; only a very small amount of insulin is lost during the disconnect time.

Needle covers and protectors

•  Covers and protectors provided with the infusion set packaging should be utilized.

Covers and protectors should be kept clean by storing them in a clean container (e.g. contact lenses case, empty test strip vial, or a film case).


Prevent backflow of insulin

While still disconnected, the pump user should prime 1-2 units of insulin and visually confirm flow of insulin or confirm by dripping insulin on back of hand.

Ensure secure connection

Some infusion sets have an audible "click" to ensure a secure connection. In addition, a quick visual check accompanied by a gentle tug on the tubing at both the pump connection and infusion set connection can also help ensure a secure connection.

Time Off Pump/Missed Basal

•  Usually no adjustment is necessary for being off of the pump for less than an hour.

Adjustments may have to be made for longer periods.

There may be times when replacing missed insulin is unnecessary due to the activity level while the pump is off (i.e. physical activity).

The pump user should always check blood glucose before disconnecting and every hour while disconnected to help determine the appropriate action.

Before going into a jacuzzi, sauna, or tanning bed, the pump user should disconnect from the pump. Be aware that the increased temperature exposure from these activities may cause hypoglycemia from increased insulin absorption or hyperglycemia from denatured or "bad" insulin.
Dr. Ramiro Antuña de Alaiz
Education Treatment Unit
insulin pumps > insulin pump basics dictionary