What is an insulin pump?
An insulin pump is a small, portable device that delivers a continuous supply of insulin. It is clipped to your belt or tucked inside your clothing. The pump holds a syringe filled with insulin, and is programmed to give small amounts of insulin continuously through an an infusion set. When you need extra insulin before meals or before a snack, you push the buttons on the pump to deliver the right amount of insulin to match the carbohydrates you eat. The infusion set is inserted under the skin and changed every 2 or 3 days.
What to consider if you are thinking about a pump:
- Can provide better blood glucose control
- Allows more flexibility
- Convenient because it is always with you
- Fewer injections
- Fewer and less severe low blood sugars
- More frequent blood sugar testing (finger-pricks)
- Something is always attached to you
- More rapid onset of Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) if there is an interruption in the insulin delivery
- There is a lot of education and ongoing follow-up required to be successful with an insulin pump
Questions to ask yourself:
- What do I expect from pump therapy?
- How will a pump fit into my daily life?
- How do I feel about having a pump attached to me at all times?
- How will a pump affect times of intimacy?
- Have I talked to someone who is using a pump?
- Am I willing to test my blood sugars a minimum of 4 times per day?
- Do I rotate my injection sites?
- Am I willing to learn and do carbohydrate counting?
- Am I willing to visit the Diabetes Education Centre for regular follow-up?
- Am I comfortable making insulin adjustments based on my blood sugar results?
- Arrange an appointment with your Diabetes Education Centre for assessment by a diabetes educator
- Speak to your diabetes specialist/endocrinologist
- Contact all pump companies and decide which pump you like
- Keep good blood sugar records and food records
- Check to see if you have insurance coverage through your benefit plan
- If you meet the criteria for funding through the Assistive Devices Program (ADP), your diabetes team will initiate the required paperwork
ADP-Approved Insulin Pump Programs
(Adults or Pediatrics)
|Cambridge Memorial Hospital
||700 Coronation Blvd, Cambridge
|Diabetes Care Guelph
||83 Dawson Rd, Guelph
|Grand River Hospital
||835 King St W, Kitchener
|Grand River Hospital (Pediatrics)
||835 King St W, Kitchener
|Groves Memorial Hospital
||235 Union St E, Fergus
|Guelph General Hospital
||115 Delhi St, Geulph
|Louise Marshall Hospital
||525 Dublin St, Mount Forest
|Palmerston and District Hospital
||500 Whites Rd, Palmerston
Insulin Pump Companies
Funding Assistance for Insulin Pumps
The Assistive Devices Program (ADP) through the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) provides funding to support you with an insulin pump. If you meet the eligibility criteria for a pump, 100% of the price of your pump is covered and paid directly to the supplier. You will also receive a $2400 grant paid to you 4 times/year to help cover the cost of your supplies. You must attend one of the ADP approved Diabetes Education Programs. For a referral to a program near you, click here.
For more information on the ADP program for insulin pumps, please click here
Now that you have decided to go on an insulin pump:
It is important that you attend all the appointments with your Diabetes Education Centre. There is a lot to learn with an insulin pump. The more effort you put in to learning, the more success you will have with your insulin pump. Both your diabetes educator and the insulin pump company will provide you with reading materials. The following manual is an additional resource for you to support you with managing your diabetes with an insulin pump. Click here
Kitchener Insulin Pumpers
The Kitchener Insulin Pumpers are an active support group within the region. The group is designed for anyone using or interested in using an insulin pump. They meet on the last Tuesday of every month from September to May (but not in March). Kitchener Insulin Pumpers work collaboratively for information, support, discussion and connection around life with an insulin pump. For more information, click here.