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Insulin Pump Program

Joslin's Pediatric Pump Program is the oldest and largest pediatric insulin pump program in the world.

This extensive experience with insulin pump therapy is a perfect example of Joslin Pediatric Health Services' commitment to constant evaluation and development of innovative tools for use with our pediatric population.

What is Insulin Pump Therapy?

More and more young people are using insulin pumps. Even very young children have successfully adjusted to the pump.

Insulin pump therapy provides the closest match available today to the way a body would normally deliver insulin. Using an insulin pump requires more work, but results in better diabetes control and more freedom.

The pump takes the place of giving oneself multiple injections of insulin throughout the day. About the size of a pager, pumps are worn next to the body. They deliver a continuous stream of insulin throughout the day and night via a thin tube inserted into the body. Using the pump requires checking blood glucose (sugar) more often

How Does the Joslin Pediatric Pump Program Work?

Joslin Pediatric Health Services has developed a protocol for initiating pump therapy to ensure the most postive outcomes. This includes evaluation and teamwork involving a Joslin physician, nurse educator, registered dietitian, child development specialist and, most importantly, the patient and the patient's family.

The main goals of the pump evaluation are to — 

  • Provide information about the pump
  • Review the challenges and opportunities of pump therapy
  • Perform an assessment of the patient’s and family’s readiness for the pump

We also discuss the most appropriate timing for starting the pump. 

Once the pump evaluation piece is completed and the decision is made to go forward, we take each patient through an individualized,  gradual introduction to using the pump. 

The first pump appointment starts an  “adjustment period”, during which he or she gets used to wearing the pump with saline and not insulin (the need for insulin injections continues at this point). This is typically done for about a week. 

Next, at the second appointment, insulin infusion begins.  Finally, a follow-up appointments are set to help with insulin adjustments.

Contact Information

For more information on considering pump therapy for teens and children, contact your Joslin pediatrician, or make an appointment with Joslin Pediatric Health Services by calling 

617-732-2603.

Page last updated: October 22, 2014