Don't Be a Fool this April, Have a Plan if Your Insulin Pump Breaks

Modern technology has made todays insulin therapy almost unrecognisable from the form it took a few years ago. From the new islet transplants being trialled, to the new types of insulin being produced. Insulin therapy has greatly moved on in the last few years.

But what happens when modern technology lets you down? Insulin pumps are a fantastic innovation. And something that I couldn't imagine living without. When I was diagnosed 13 years ago, I could never of dreamed that injections would be a thing of the past. But unfortunately, sometimes they do break.

An insulin pump is a small mobile phone sized device that delivers insulin 24 hours a day. A needle is worn under the skin that connects via a tube to the device. I've been on a pump for nearly 5 years now, and I have never regretted going onto one.
However, when mine broke I learnt the importance of having a back up plan. Below are some of my top tips on what to do in preparation for if this instance occurs.

Top tips

  • Everytime you change your back- round rates write them down. Because if your pump breaks and you can't switch it back on you'll be back to the beginning of setting your rates.
  • Carry BOTH a fast and slow acting insulin with you in your kit bag, in case your pump breaks whilst out.
  • Note what your emergency back- round rates are for injections. (Your medical professional should be able to help you this).
  • Keep a reasonable amount of needles with you to inject with.
  • Keep the numbers handy of both your diabetes specialist nurse and emergency helpline for your pump manufacture.
  • In the case of a pump breaking regularly test your blood sugars and also for ketones frequently.
  • Getting a back up plan in place that suits you best, will help to ease the panic that happens when your pump breaks. But please note that these top tips are just based on my own experiences. If in doubt always contact a medical professional, as they know best.


  1. I am a diabetic on a insulin pump, and this is really helpful. I am planning a holiday soon and this is something I will take with me.

  2. Great to hear Grant! Glad you could find the information useful. Keep an eye-out for the blogs closer to Summer about Holiday help and survival!



Meet The Author

My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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