Pump Problems? Here Are Some Helpful Pointers

If you use an insulin pump, every now and then you may experience the unfortunate event of watching it send you the message, “No Delivery.” You’re no longer receiving insulin from your pump.

It goes without saying that this is a stressful situation, especially if you’re out and about during the day and don’t have the time or proper equipment to handle it. If this happens to you, here are some tips that might make your pump struggles a bit easier.

Stay Calm–You can’t resolve a pump problem efficiently if you’re panicking or stressed to the point that you become overly nervous. The first step to resolving a “No Delivery” is always to stay calm before making any decisions.

Ask Yourself These Questions–When was the last time I changed my infusion set? Is there insulin in my reservoir? Is there a bend/kink in the pump’s tubing? Is the battery level low? Any of these issues can lead to a no delivery.

Take Note of Your Inventory–Whether you’re at your job or at school you need to review what kind of diabetes supplies you packed for the day. If you have an insulin KwickPen with you, then you can operate via injections for the rest of the day.
This is a good option if you don’t have time to go home. However, if you do have time, remove your pump and attempt to put a new infusion set in or wait until you get home to do so.

Have a Replacement Schedule and Stick With It–Start planning a schedule of when you are due to change your infusion set and mark it on your calendar. This is usually the time when you’ll see most no deliveries, so plan a few open hours to allow plenty of time to ensure that your pump is working properly.

Act as Soon as You Can–Don’t take a no delivery lightly. It’s an issue you need to deal with quickly to ensure that your blood glucose levels don’t start to rise precipitously. Keeping in the mind the pointers above, take steps right away to fix the problem.

In a Pinch, Be Resourceful and Improvise–A good policy is to always have a syringe with you –in your car, backpack, etc.–in case you have to harvest insulin from your pump’s reservoir to give yourself insulin if your pump’s not delivering. This is not something I would normally recommend, but can be used as a last resort to buy some time.

Don’t Let a No Delivery Ruin Your Day–The biggest problem I see with people with diabetes is that they rely so much on their pumps always working correctly that they forget that occasionally they’ll face challenges like no delivery. It can upset them to the point that it ruins their whole day.

It doesn’t have to. By keeping in mind that no deliveries are something many people have experienced, and taking a deep breath and following the tips above, you should be able to come through this OK.

Good luck and happy pumping!

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