In issue 12 of Sweet Life magazine we interviewed insulin pump expert (and user) Imke Kruger about her experiences with the insulin pump – and got her to answer your questions. Take a look at the article, here.
Here are some more of your insulin pump questions, answered by Imke, the Product and Sales Manager for Insulin Delivery Systems at Roche Diabetes Care.
How much is an insulin pump with and without medical aid?
The cost implications depend on a few aspects, one being the type of medical aid plan, and whether the particular medical aid covers the costs fully or partially. It would be best to discuss this with your healthcare professional or your medical aid. In order to buy a pump, you need to be a patient at one of the accredited pump centres in South Africa. Your doctor will decide if you are a pump candidate according to the Association of Clinical Endocrinologists of South Africa (ACE-SA) guidelines. If you are, you will need a script to claim the pump through your medical aid, or buy it cash from one of the supplying pharmacies.
How do I apply for a pump that I can afford?
You need to visit your doctor. If they agree that pump therapy is the best option for you, depending on your medical aid, the doctor will send an application to the medical aid. We at Accu-Chek® can also assist you with this process. You can contact me via email or alternately you can call the Accu-Chek® Customer Care line on 080- Diabetes/ 080-34-22-38-37
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using an insulin pump?
In short, insulin pump therapy improves metabolic control while giving you greater freedom and enhanced quality of life.
• Your metabolism stays more stable, with better HbA1c values and fewer episodes of hypoglycemia
• You may enjoy greater efficiency and more energy, even in times of stress or an irregular work schedule.
• You can be more flexible in your eating, if you understand the concept of carbohydrate counting.
• You can participate in sports whenever you feel like it — without having to plan in advance
I would say the disadvantages are that you have too much freedom in making food choices. There is a risk of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) from pump malfunction or absorption problems.
Deciding on insulin pump therapy is not a simple decision and should be carefully considered with the help of your healthcare professional team. However, feedback from many pump users, physicians and other healthcare professionals show that they are very satisfied with the results of Insulin pump therapy.
How would the insulin pump be used for sports? Are there special casings made or will I have to play without it? For example, a cricket game with a long duration and the risk of the pump being hit by the ball.
You can engage in any kind of physical activity while wearing an insulin pump. However, for sports involving intensive body contact and water sports we recommend temporarily disconnecting the insulin pump, but not for longer than 1 hour. We have special cases and pouches that protect the pump that would enable you to play cricket with the pump. However, we do advise patients to insure the system, for 100% assurance.
What is the risk of infection?
If you follow the right hygiene steps, the risks are low. You should always disinfect your insulin pump site before inserting the infusion set. It is also critical to replace the infusion set every three days as per the package insert of the product. In rare cases, patients can be allergic to the adhesive plaster, and need to use a tegaderm plaster underneath the infusion set to prevent allergic reactions.
How do I know if I’m ready to pump?
Visit our website to find out all the details you need: from how pump therapy is different to multiple daily injections, to how pump therapy benefits your help, how to wear and handle the pump, what a typical day looks like, what features to expect and how they make your life easier. There’s also a questionnaire. some FAQ, and all the contact details you need. What are you waiting for? Find out if you’re ready to pump.