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08-17-2018 | Insulin pumps | Review | Article

An Overview of Safety Issues on Use of Insulin Pumps and Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems in the Hospital

Current Diabetes Reports

Authors: Bithika Thompson, Melinda Leighton, Mary Korytkowski, Curtiss B. Cook

Publisher: Springer US


Purpose of Review

Summarize safety issues related to patients using insulin pump therapy and continuous glucose monitoring systems (CGMS) in the outpatient setting when they are hospitalized and to review steps that can be taken to mitigate risk associated with use or discontinuation of these devices.

Recent Findings

Two recent consensus conferences were held on the topics of inpatient use of insulin pumps and CGMS devices. In addition to commonly known safety issues (e.g., device malfunction, infection), cybersecurity and the vulnerability of contemporary technology to hacking have emerged. CGMS capabilities offer the promise of advancing the goal for development of glucometry (centralized monitoring of real-time glucose data). Strategies to assuring safe use of insulin pumps and CGMS in the hospital include collaboration between the patient and staff, proper patient selection, and clear policies and procedures outlining safe use. Available data indicates few adverse events associated with these devices in the hospital.


Current data suggests, with proper patient selection and a clear process in place for glycemic management, that adverse events are rare, and consensus favors allowing use of the technology in the hospital. The topic of insulin pump and CGMS in the hospital would greatly benefit from more institutions reporting on their experiences and prospective clinical trials.

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