Tips for Preventing Moisture Damage to Your Insulin Pump
When you think of the upcoming summer months you may think of ice cold lemonade, sun tanning at the beach, and splashing in the water to cool down. I grew up in India and then Texas, so I'm no stranger to the heat. Now that I live in L.A. I live close to the beach but since I, like many of you, wear an insulin pump that is water-tight (not water-proof), I try to do what I can to protect my pink pump, also known as my best friend.
In my role at Medtronic on the Customer Experience Excellence Team, my number one goal is to make sure customers (like me) have a good experience. One side to this is to make sure we are all proactive and educated with tips that can make living with an insulin pump easier. I sat down with the 24Hour HelpLine Team to learn about how to prevent possible moisture damage during the spring and summer months.
If you wear your insulin pump in a place where it touches your skin, make sure the buttons on the front side of the insulin pump face away from your body. If you sweat more as the heat rises, this will put your pump at risk of being exposed to moisture so it will help if you wear it in a case for extra protection. We recommend looking into water-resistant materials, which you can find at a variety of places online. We also have a couple of options in our online store. Check out our sport case and nylon case.
If possible, keep your insulin pump away from water. If you are going to swim, you can use the quick-release feature on most infusion sets to disconnect for a period of time. If you are going to be active in water activities on a regular basis, speak to your doctor about what will work best for you. If you disconnect your insulin pump, make sure you keep it in a dry and safe place that is away from possible moisture. It’s also a great idea to create awareness for your family members and friends to know that your insulin pump is not water-proof. Although it may be funny if someone pushes you in the pool, this is not a good idea with an insulin pump and your loved ones should know that.
And last but not least, we do not want to forget about your infusion set and/or glucose sensor sites. We recommend you speak with your doctor about using tapes and adhesives with your infusion set or glucose sensor sites to help keep them in place when you are more prone to sweat. There are a variety of tapes and adhesives available, so see what works best for you. Some people find that using an antiperspirant on their site prior to insertion helps the tape stick better, especially during the heat of the summer (I’ve personally never tried this but hear it actually works!).
Here’s what you do:
• Purchase a solid or spray antiperspirant without deodorant for site use only (no gels or creams). Sprays really work best—otherwise sticking can be an issue.
• Apply to chosen infusion or sensor site and allow it to soak in for 10-15 minutes.
• Cleanse site to remove residue from skin.
• Follow insertion directions as usual.
• Cleanse a solid stick with an alcohol wipe after each use.
For more information on water activities and tape tips, see the Help & Support section of our website. Once you have these tips down, enjoy your summer, and I will do the same!
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
- Medtronic Diabetes insulin infusion pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and associated components are limited to sale by or on the order of a physician and should only be used under the direction of a healthcare professional familiar with the risks associated with the use of these systems.
- Successful operation of the insulin infusion pumps and/or continuous glucose monitoring systems requires adequate vision and hearing to recognize alerts and alarms.
Medtronic Diabetes Insulin Infusion Pumps
- Insulin pump therapy is not recommended for individuals who are unable or unwilling to perform a minimum of four blood glucose tests per day.
- Insulin pumps use rapid-acting insulin. If your insulin delivery is interrupted for any reason, you must be prepared to replace the missed insulin immediately.
Medtronic Diabetes Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Systems
- The information provided by CGM systems is intended to supplement, not replace, blood glucose information obtained using a home glucose meter. A confirmatory fingerstick is required prior to treatment.
- Insertion of a glucose sensor may cause bleeding or irritation at the insertion site. Consult a physician immediately if you experience significant pain or if you suspect that the site is infected.
Please visit http://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/importantsafetyinformation for complete safety information.