An insulin pump can be worn by children with diabetes to dramatically improve their quality of life.
A small catheter is inserted into the child’s skin. The catheter is connected by tubing to a reservoir that contains insulin. This pump can give steady doses of short acting insulin throughout the day, mimicking a healthy pancreas. When the child eats, an additional bolus of insulin is given to cover the carbohydrates in the meal.
The benefit of an insulin pump is that medication can be delivered without repeated needle sticks. However, the tubing for the pump needs to be changed often for it to work well, which can be stressful for the child.
Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, January 2020