Problem Solving High Blood Sugars with an Insulin Pump

Knowing what to do about high blood sugars or hyperglycemia is so important! We don’t want our kids with diabetes to end up in DKA (Diabetic Keto Acidosis).

Sara recently had to change her insulin pump infusion set 5 times! Her blood sugars weren’t coming down, so I kept telling her it must not be in good. She was a trooper and kept changing it. Finally after 5 times of inserting a new one, pulling it out and seeing it wasn’t kinked, trying new injection sites, we decided it must be something different.

It dawned on me that maybe it was the insulin. We opened a new vial and filled a new reservoir and started over. Bingo! It worked.

Here’s a review of steps to take when on an insulin pump with high blood sugars that aren’t responding to a bolus. Catching high blood sugars in the beginning is so important, which is why checking a minimum of 4 times a day or wearing a CGM is recommended.

  1. Check ketones with ketone urine strips or a ketone blood meter.
  2. If high, give an injection for a correction, do NOT use pump! If you don’t know how much to give, use the pump to input the blood sugar to get the calculation for the dose, then give it with a syringe or pen instead of the pump. Continue ketone protocol until improved. Be sure to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.
  3. Change out infusion set. This is usually what is not working. We try this first and then go from there if blood sugar does not respond. (If on OmniPod, change Pod).
  4. If changing infusion set doesn’t work, change reservoir or cartridge.
  5. If changing reservoir or cartridge doesn’t work, open a new vial of insulin and fill a new cartridge/reservoir.

Hopefully changing the infusion set solves the problem, but if it doesn’t, work your way through the list. Pump problems can be so frustrating! And they seem to happen at the most inopportune times!

If your child’s blood sugars are continuously running high, it may be that the pump settings are not correct. Call your healthcare provider to review settings.

Be sure to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions if they are different and notify them when necessary!

Join our Facebook group Pumping Kids, for parents of children on insulin pumps!

Interested in receiving a free chapter of the soon to be released book Pumping Kids, a Guide to Insulin Pumps in Kids?

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Author: Carol

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