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Hospital takes pump away

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by mom24girls, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. mom24girls

    mom24girls New Member

    Nov 16, 2007
    Hi everyone,
    This is my first post on the CWD forums, although I have been around CWD for 10 years. I used to read/post on the email list, then moved to the forums a few years ago.

    Its a long story but it boils down to this. My daughter, Melanie, is 20. Due to multiple health problems and being a full time college student, she is still followed at our local children's hospital. She has several specialists there. She is scheduled for shoulder surgery in November. The ortho team wants to have her admitted the night before since her surgery is first thing in the morning.
    So, we made the plans, scheduled the surgery, I took vacation time from work and we thought we were good to go.

    Until this weekend -- Melanie was in the ER for complications from a procedure she had Friday. One of the ER nurses came into the room and questioned why Melanie still had her pump on. She told us that it is hospital policy (at least "upstairs") to take pumps from patients with diabetes. I told her that we have never had a problem with anyone wanting to take my daughters pump. (The only reason why Melanie didn't answer is because she has laryngitis). She continued to state the she worked on the floors in the hospital and that "diabetic kids had their pumps taken and were given injections" Melanie said that there was "no way in you know where" that anyone would take her pump.

    I emailed our endo, who is really wonderful, about this issue. I am waiting to hear from her, but I wanted to ask here if anyone has heard of such a thing.

    Thanks for reading. Hope it makes sense. I am sleep deprived - chasing highs all night.

    Mom to Melanie, dx type 1, Sept. 2001
  2. dragonfly

    dragonfly Approved members

    Jun 28, 2008
    It's the policy of our hospital as well. If the patient or family member can be responsible to run it 24/7 then it can be left on otherwise they come off. ICU is a different story. Then they always come off.

    Think about it from a nursing perspective. There are a ton of different pumps out there and nurses can't be familiar with all the different kinds and options on them. They don't know how to change sites either.
  3. Kaylas mom

    Kaylas mom Approved members

    Apr 14, 2010
    We have gone to our local ER and they have never even suggested that Kayla remove her pump or even try to do anything with her diabetes other than check blood and urine ketones. They don't seem to want the responsibility of dealing with it.
  4. mom24girls

    mom24girls New Member

    Nov 16, 2007
    Thanks, Michelle, that makes total sense. I can understand nurses not knowing all the pumps. The nurse we saw yesterday said that all kids lose their pumps, no options, even if family is there. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
  5. CAGrandma

    CAGrandma Approved members

    Mar 14, 2006
    Part of the issue is who is responsible for your daughter's diabetes care while she is in the hospital. The hospital assumes that they are, and therefore they want to do it their way, using their equipment. This is their policy.
    It does not have to be yours. Hospital policy requires the staff to do certain things, it cannot make a patient do anything. If your daughter were to refuse to turn over her pump, and continue to test her own BG, give herself boluses, etc., the hospital cannot stop her. What they can do is ask her to leave, but that has problems for them too, since they can't stop treating her for something else in the middle of everything.
    What I think it is important to know is that hospital policy may be binding on the hospital staff but it is not binding on you. It's not prison and they can't force you to do something you don't want to do. The other side is that you can't make them do something that violates their policy - but this means you can't make THEM use your pump, but you can continue to do so.
  6. Lisa P.

    Lisa P. Approved members

    May 19, 2008

    This is hugely important in many situations.
  7. timsma

    timsma Approved members

    Sep 1, 2007
    My son has been in the hospital overnight for having his tonsils and adnoids taken out. They never asked him to remove his pump and I took charge of his bs levels. The next time, he was in for 5 days for epilepsy/seizure testing and again, no mention of him having to remove his pump. He self managed in there. The only thing they required was that he did a blood test on their meter and he told them each time he was bolusing and for how many carbs. They noted that all in his chart then. He also tested on his own meter at the same time. I'd have been livid had they made him remove his pump and would not have allowed it so I'm thankful that I didnt' have to fight such a battle. Good luck to you with this!
  8. s0ccerfreak

    s0ccerfreak Approved members

    Mar 17, 2007
    This is the policy at our local children's hospital as well. The reason being is insulin is a drug that must be checked by two nurses before it is given, they can't really do that with the pump. We were told that it is a JCAHO (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) policy therefore they must abide by it.
  9. valerie k

    valerie k Approved members

    Feb 19, 2008
    When my father was hospitalized, we always took his pump home, and he went on MDI. I can so see the point of them not wanting to bother with it. I know the minimed pump inside and out, however, give me the omni pod or animas, I would be so lost. One cant expect nurses to be familiar with all the pumps and everybody and thier individual plan.

    Now, since my son is 12, I wouldnt leave his side if he was hospitalized, and he would retain his pump. If you can manage the same even tho your daughter is older, I would. However, when undergoing such a surgery, she will be out for several hours to well over a day or so, and will not have the wherewithall to take charge of her diabetic care. Perhaps even longer depending on pain level ect. If you cant be there, I would just do as the hospital suggests. Your asking others to step out of thier comfort zone for your convience, and thats not fair and could be risky to your daughters health as well.
  10. Flutterby

    Flutterby Approved members

    Nov 11, 2006
    if they go in for ketones/illness, yes, they do take the pump away because they use regular insulin through the iv.. they can match regular insulin with saline/d5 much easier than they can do it with a pump, it also takes away one two factors, pump/site working, when there are large ketones.. However, she's not in there for a diabetes related issue so I see no reason why she should have to remove her pump.. We just got back from the ER because my daughter sprained her foot, thought it was broken.. they didn't even question the pump, infact, most of them were interested.. if it was diabetes related I would expect them to remove her pump if she were admitted.
  11. mom24girls

    mom24girls New Member

    Nov 16, 2007
    -----Your asking others to step out of thier comfort zone for your convience, and thats not fair and could be risky to your daughters health as well. ---

    Actually, I am not. I am not asking the hospital to do anything but support us in managing the situation. I will be there the whole time. My daughter is terrified of her pump getting taken away, even to the point of wanting to cancel the surgery. She has a very complicated medical history. She receives fluids during the night. We have, through a lot of sleepless nights, matched her basals to the fluids. If she were to go on MDI, she would have to be tested and receive injections every hour all night long. I can't imagine that this would be easier for the nurses.

    She has had several surgeries at this hospital. We have never had an issue with the OR or recovery room staff. She has always kept her pump. It is only the inpatient floors that appear to have an issue.

    I really just wanted some insight on this issue, not to be judged. If I sounded like I was expecting too much, them I'm sorry. Its been a long 24+ hours of ER, then chasing highs all night. I guess my fatigue is showing.
  12. Connie(BC)Type 1

    Connie(BC)Type 1 Approved members

    Nov 11, 2005
    I've had MANY surgeries, and have not had my pump off, (except for showers and swimming) since May 26,1988.!
  13. emm142

    emm142 Approved members

    Sep 7, 2008
    Wow! You never took a pump break in 23 years! That's pretty impressive.

    And as to the surgery, OP, it sounds to me like your daughter has a valid reason for needing the pump even if hospital policy says otherwise. If you will be there constantly to operate it, I can't imagine that they would need to take it away.
  14. mom24grlz

    mom24grlz Approved members

    Mar 30, 2010
    welcome to the forum. Gotta say when i first say the post and the user name I thought "hey I didn't post this" LOL! Our user names are so similar :D

    I'm not sure about the hospital's policy of taking away an insulin pump. I would have been upset about it too, and fought them on it. Did they say why they insist on only doing injections?
  15. wilf

    wilf Approved members

    Aug 27, 2007
    I would indicate that you will be there 24/7 and that you will have full responsibility for diabetes management throughout that time. They may be able to live with that.. :cwds:
  16. Darryl

    Darryl Approved members

    May 8, 2008
    Although I'd personally want to keep the pump during hospitalization, my main concern during hospitalization and surgery would not be the pump vs. other methods, it would be the frequency of BG monitoring. How often are they testing BG? What range are they setting? What kind of insulin are they using? What is the method of deciding insulin doses based on the BG readings? These are the most important questions, and I'd bet that most hospital staff don't have anything other than vague answers. I'd ask for frequent readings and remain involved in dosing decisions regardless of whether they permit the pump or not.
  17. Ali

    Ali Approved members

    Aug 1, 2006
    It sounds like you need to call your surgeon or primary Doc and tell them to make sure the hospital allows you to keep the pump. The primary Doc, you and the hospital can figure out if this is workable in this situation. It is your Surgeon/primary Doc who you should be contacting. Ali
  18. deafmack

    deafmack Approved members

    Sep 22, 2006
    Sometimes policy is not made for the benefit of the patient but for fear of the hospital staff. If your daughter wants to keep her pump on and you will be with her the whole time, then I think that should be allowed.
    Actually the JCAHO policy allows for the keeping of the pump on if the patient or another person is able to operate the pump and knows what to do.
    Here is the link.
    Basically what I am understanding is that the removal or allowing of the pump to stay is to be decided on a case by case basis. And since from what I understand you will be there the entire time with your daughter to help in the use of the pump, there is no reason it needs to be removed. Hope that helps.
  19. PatriciaMidwest

    PatriciaMidwest Approved members

    Mar 2, 2010
    I hope you are able to work through this. In my mind, there is a difference between taking the pump away and asking you not to use the pump. Make sure the pump remains in your possession even when detached.

    My daughter was asked to keep her pump off during our last hospital visit. It was fine because she was being monitored for some serious lows and we had already taken her pump off and put it in my purse. She had IV with dextrose, so lows could be treated quickly.

    I'm not sure if I would fight the pump or not - it just depends on her situation and what procedures she was having done, how long she will be out of it. I agree that the bigger issue is how often will someone be monitoring her - you can't be on call 24/7 to do this and your daughter will be recovering.

    Also, I found with my daughter that they tended to run her a lot higher in the hospital than I really wanted (after her initial lows) -so do talk this over with them. That may be part of why they don't want the pump used as well.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
  20. quiltinmom

    quiltinmom Approved members

    Jun 24, 2010
    In a hospital, they need to know everything that goes on. They keep records of everything down to the last detail. It's a big liability to let a person in their care (especially a child) keep a pump that they (te hospital staff) has no control over. If a person is alone in their room giving themselves insulin, unknown to the staff, that could potentially cause huge problems.

    We've not had to go to the hospital since he started pumping, so I have no personal experience with it, but I don't think I would question hospital policy if they wanted him off the pump.

    Good question!

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