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Question:

From Diamond Springs, California, USA:

My teenage son has been told he's "good to go" on a pump and to choose the pump we want. His doctor's office gave us a written comparison of features on the major pump manufacturers and suggested we check the Internet, in particular the Children with Diabetes web site, for unbiased information. But, I'm not finding much that helps in our decision. I'm sure you can't recommend one brand over another, but, in your opinion, what are the most important features to consider in choosing a pump?

Answer:

Choosing a pump is a very personal decision because many factors come into play. My advice is to make arrangements to meet with the local pump representatives for all of the companies. Ask each to explain the features of their pump and how they would work best for your child. During this discussion, remember that this person will be who you rely on in the event of a problem with the pump. (Yes, you also call the national office, but a good local representative can make a big difference.)

Consider also how the pump would fit on your child and which infusion sets you like. Some pumps have a limited selection of infusion sets, and in the end, the insulin is delivered through the set, so you have to be able to find a set you like and which works well.

If your son uses a lot of insulin -- more than 100 units a day -- I would look at one of the pumps that have 300 unit cartridges, such as the Smiths Medical Cozmo or the Medtronic 722.

In the end, you'll come to a mutual decision based on your research. Given the price of a pump, you definitely owe it to yourself and your son to spend some time looking at what each pump company has to offer.

JSH

Additional comments from Dr. David Schwartz:

The pump companies reps have as their mission to sell you THEIR brand of pump. Thus the information is not unbiased. Too many people get dazzled by the slick brochure from company M vs company R, as examples. In addition, company M might really play up about the capacity of their pump to communicate with a continuous sensor in 'real time' but not point out about FDA- approvals for children etc.

This family's diabetes physician clearly has no worries about which pump the child/family chooses. So....just as the family wouldn't buy a new car based solely on the Car Salesman's pitch, even if they visit several different dealerships/companies, the family should make their own individual decision.

If they did not find enough objective information from such sites as childrenwithdiabetes.com, then I'd suggest that they make an appointment with their diabetes doctor to ask him/her what S/HE thinks the main pros and cons are of the various pumps.

DS

[Editor's comment: You may find our page on Insulin Pump Therapy to be helpful. BH]

DTQ-20070317223004
Original posting 21 Mar 2007
Posted to Insulin Pumps

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:12
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