Treatment of diabetes mellitus using an external insulin pump in clinical practice.Diabetes Metab. 2008 Sep; 34(4 Pt 2):425-38.DM
Before the initiation of insulin pump therapy, patients must be aware of the different aspects of this form of intensive insulin therapy. Most healthcare professionals recommend a sequential approach to inform patients about CSII. Factors that need to be considered in choosing an insulin pump include its safety features, durability of the device, tolerability and comfort of the catheter, user-friendliness, technical features and appearance. The initial insulin requirements need to be individualized for the given patient, using different methods to determine the appropriate dosages for the basal rate and prandial boluses. Glycaemic targets and algorithms for insulin dose adaptation need to be learned by the patients to enable them to avoid and/or correct hypo- and hyperglycaemia/ketosis episodes. Patients are also advised on how to carry out frequent self-monitoring of blood glucose-and of ketone bodies, if necessary. Insulin pumps are now able to deliver a range of basal rates and boluses that increase the flexibility of CSII. One specific issue is the approach to meal-planning, based on carbohydrate-counting or the equivalent: this method of so-called 'flexible insulin therapy' can improve metabolic control (for instance, by diminishing postprandial excursions) as well as the quality of life of patients. Evaluation of the knowledge and practices of the patient can be made through a continuous educational programme carried out by experienced nurses and physicians at the start of therapy and during follow-up. In addition, it may be necessary to identify the reasons for lack of improvement in metabolic control after several months of therapy, which include pump malfunction, cannula problems, miscalculated insulin dosages and insufficient metabolic control in specific clinical situations with a high risk of metabolic deterioration (illness, exercise, concomitant drugs). Annual assessment of the patient using an itemized checklist is required to verify the continued efficacy and safety of insulin pump therapy, two main factors of success with CSII treatment.