MiniMed insulin pumps and your lifestyle
The Truth About Watertight
An insulin pump is a companion in a patient’s everyday life, and will inevitably get bumped and bashed around a bit. Although all manufacturers carry out numerous tests, no-one can prevent cracking with complete and absolute certainty once the pump is out of its box and has actually started to be used every day.
We believe that our position as a manufacturer is a very responsible one and aims to provide the appropriate level of awareness for our customers with regard to how they use their pump in day to day life.
Can I swim, shower or bathe while wearing an insulin pump?
The MiniMed® Veo™ insulin pump is splash-proof, and therefore we continue to label the MiniMed® Veo™ as water resistant, not waterproof.
We recommend that MiniMed Veo insulin pump users do not intentionally submerge their insulin pump in water. To participate in water activities, you can easily disconnect from your insulin pump. While disconnected for water activities, take the necessary precautions to protect your pump from water. You can remove your insulin pump for up to one hour without taking insulin. If you remove your pump for more than one hour, you will have to use another way to take your insulin, such as injections of fast-acting insulin, or reconnecting your pump to take boluses (speak to your healthcare professional on guidelines when disconnecting). When reconnected, check your blood glucose levels.
TRAVELLING CHECKLIST / TIPS AND TRICKS
MiniMed® Veo™ insulin pump
You can continue to use your insulin pump as normal during your flight.
If you are using the pump’s continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), International standards and U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations require that devices using radio frequency capabilities should not be used on an aircraft. Therefore you must disconnect the MiniLink™ transmitter from the glucose sensor. Note that it is not sufficient to turn off the CGM feature because the MiniLink transmitter will continue to transmit on the RF unless disconnected from the glucose sensor. If you need to test your glucose levels while in flight, you will need to do this manually using your blood glucose (BG) meter.
Can my insulin pump be disturbed by electromagnetic interference at airports or through computers, cell phones, or recording equipment?
You should avoid exposing insulin infusion pumps to strong magnetic fields such as those associated with MRI machines. Extensive testing has shown that other magnetized devices such as airport metal detectors, electronic article surveillance equipment, and cellular phones will not affect the working of your insulin pump.
Although mobile phones, cordless phones and other wireless high frequency devices can interfere with communication from your glucose monitor/transmitter to your insulin pump, this interference does not cause faulty data and does not damage your pump or the meter. Communication can be restored by removing or switching off these wireless devices.
Your pump should not go through the x-ray machine that is used for carry-on or checked luggage, or the full body scanner. If you choose to go through the full body scanner, you will need to disconnect the infusion set and remove your insulin pump and CGM (sensor and transmitter) prior to the scan. To avoid removing your devices, you should request an alternative screening process that does not use x-ray. Your insulin pump, infusion set, reservoir and CGM system can withstand exposure to airport metal detectors and wands used at airport security checkpoints.
Travelling with a pump
Your pump can help make managing blood glucose levels easier when you travel. You can adjust boluses for meals that come at odd hours, for ones that are bigger or smaller than usual, or for meals that you want to take your time over.
You can also adjust your pump to changes in your normal activity level, like sleeping in later.
How you prepare for your travel and what you need to take depends on where you are going and for how long. What is appropriate for a short domestic flight and holiday within your country will be different for a long-haul flight over different time zones.
When travelling, consider taking the following supplies:
- Extra pump batteries
- Insulin (and appropriate storage container)
- Pump supplies
- Insulin pen or syringes
- Extra blood glucose and ketone strips
- Glucagon emergency kit
- Blood sugar testing equipment
- Carbohydrate for treating hypos and extra food such as nutrition bars which are easy to carry
- Fluids that have sugar (regular soda, juice) to replace solid food
- Sugar-free liquids for replacing lost fluids
Other things to consider:
- Make sure you have key contact details of your doctor and diabetes healthcare team as well as diabetes services at your destination
- Wear or carry medical ID indicating that you have diabetes and that you are on an insulin pump
- It’s also a good idea to take along medication for diarrhea and nausea
- Take your pump manual and a list of all your pump settings
- If you are travelling overseas you may want to have written useful phrases in the language spoken in your destination eg. “I have diabetes, please give me some sugar or something to eat”.
- Check with your destination country about taking your supplies into the country.
- The transmitter should be disconnected from the sensor while travelling on an aircraft, or if it interferes with another transmitting device.
Always carry medications, snacks, pump supplies and the letter from your doctor in your carry-on luggage when you fly. This is especially important because your luggage may be lost, or you may have unplanned delays for extended periods of time. Insulin in checked luggage may be exposed to extreme (often freezing) temperatures.
A good rule is to pack double the amount of supplies that you think you would normally need, just in case you have any problems.
Pump supplies may be more expensive when buying in another country, or your particular supplies may not be available in every country, so be sure to check with us first by calling the local Helpline so that you don’t get any unexpected surprises.
Time zones and multiple basal rates
There is no standard approach when it comes to adjusting basal rates for crossing time zones. When planning a trip, consult with your diabetes healthcare team to discuss the trip itinerary and any adjustments you may need.
Don’t forget to always carry a list of your basal rates and other pump settings with you.
You can set your pump to the new destination time at any point during your flight – most people make this change when they arrive at their destination. It is very important, however, that you do change the time to that of your destination, as your basal rate settings may be quite different overnight to during the day. If you don’t change the time, you may receive too much insulin during the daytime and then not enough at night. This can be quite dangerous.
Don’t forget to change your time back when you return to your original time zone.
It’s a good idea to get up and walk during long-haul flights and drink plenty of water – this helps prevent blood clotting problems that people with or without diabetes may experience.
Blood glucose levels can go too high or low due to stress or changes in activity or eating, so you should test your blood glucose more often.
Travel Loaner Program
Find out about our insulin pump travel loaner program here
Can MRI or X-ray machines disrupt the system?
An MRI test uses extremely powerful magnetic fields and radio frequency waves to create images of organs and structures inside the body. These strong magnetic fields can damage your pump and potentially pull it from your body. The cannula infusion sets (which do not contain metal) including the: mio, Quick-set and Silhouette may be left in your body without concern.
Before having an MRI, X-ray, CT scan or diathermy treatment or other type of exposure to radiation, you should temporarily disconnect your pump, transmitter and glucose sensor before entering the room in which the procedure is to occur.
If you have questions regarding a specific test and how it may affect your pump please contact our Product Support Line.
SICK DAY MANAGEMENT
When you are sick
Managing diabetes during an illness or infection can require frequent blood glucose and urine ketone testing. Illness and infection can put extra stress on the body and often raises blood glucose. The insulin pump allows you to make adjustments to quickly and easily respond to illness and infection. Even if you are unable to eat, you need insulin. Depending on the results of blood glucose testing, your basal insulin may be sufficient to cover your insulin needs, or you may need to increase your insulin by taking frequent correction boluses, increasing your basal rate, or both. You may also need to decrease basal insulin. Speak to your healthcare professional on managing glucose levels when sick. Sick day protocol
- Test you blood glucose and urine ketones every 2 hours, 24 hours a day.
- Check urine ketones every time you go to the toilet.
- Keep more accurate records of your blood glucose values, ketones, medication, fever and all other symptoms.
- Take extra insulin whenever your blood glucose is 14 mmol/l or higher and/or when ketones are moderate or large.
- Keep in mind that extra insulin and fluids could be needed when urine ketones are present, even if your blood glucose is within your target range.
Speak to your healthcare professional about managing glucose levels when sick.
Sick day supplies
You should have the following in the house at all times
- Fluids that contain sugar (lemonade, cola or similar, candy, jelly, etc) to replace solid food.-
- Sugar-free liquids (diet drinks, bouillon, chicken broth) for replacing lost fluids
- Medications for fever, cough, congestion, nausea and vomiting-
- Extra blood glucose and ketone strips.-
- Glucagon emergency kit in case of severe hypoglycemia
DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME
Programming your pump for daylight saving times
Daylight saving time (DST) reminder
Your device will not automatically update the time for DST so you will need to do this manually when you change your clocks.