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  • The Review Course in Family Medicine

3 Adverse Events: Insulin Infusion Pumps

Continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion pumps are becoming commonplace for children with diabetes. Although serious adverse events are rare, you can help troubleshoot the common issues. Keep these Top 3 adverse events in mind:

  1. Technical faults from damage to devices can be dealt with at home but may require replacement. Remind patients to switch to injectable insulin while waiting for new device. Catheters may be occluded, dislodged, or leak, but patients are often able to change their own infusion sets.

  2. Skin related events including scarring, lipohypertrophy or cellulitis may occur and disrupt insulin absorption.

  3. Metabolic adverse events may occur from pump failure and result in disruption to insulin delivery leading to DKA and hospitalization. Work with patients and families to understand common issues and develop plans for pump failure. Serious adverse events occur when patients do not have confidence in their pump or their ability to operate it. If in doubt call the child’s endocrinologist!

Reference: Hou, M., Amed, S., & Goldman, R. D. (2022). Insulin pump complications among children with diabetes. Canadian Family Physician, 68(12), 893–895.



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