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advice and info requested

Discussion in 'Insulin Pump Forum' started by markielew, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. markielew

    markielew · Member

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    Hi Friends.
    I am about to start researching insulin pumps to ascertain if they are safe for police officers to wear on duty. I will be working with police medical advisors and also with some of the pump manufacturers, but I would like to get some advice from people who use the pumps as well.
    How robust are the devices?
    How secure are they?
    What might be the extent of any injury caused by a prisoner ripping the device from the officer, or the device getting caught up on a wooden fence or bush during a foot chase or pub fight?
    Is anyone out there wearing a pump whilst undertaking extreme exertion (abseiling or horse riding etc).
    The result of my research will determine whether diabetic police officers who are insulin dependant will be allowed to perform active duty whilst wearing insulin pumps, so I appreciate any help you can all provide.
    I have posted details of the National Police Diabetic Association on the Introductions message board and you can read more about my authenticity by viewing http://www.npda.org.uk
    Thanks for your help.
    Kind regards
    Mark Lewis
     
  2. jopar

    jopar · Well-Known Member

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    Hi mark

    As you can wear the pump and keeping it out of harms way, isn't too much of a problem, etc manufacturer have several different types of cases, clips and straps that you can use to locate your pump around your body in verious ways... And its not very difficult for a pump user to adapt other items such as mobile phone cases, baby socks etc to fit there needs..

    As to catching the pump or it's tubing or having this pulled out, this would mainly depend on the due thought of the officer and how and where he/she might place the pump, if they place it under clothing and it's secured in a good manner this would cut down the likely hood to a very mimium.

    I am a dog handler myself, I was dealing with a very large ill-mannered staffie, who was constantly jumping up at me, my pump was cliped to my waist band, the dog managed to catch his back paws in the tubing of my pump, pulling this to the ground, the pump stayed clipped to the waistband and the infusion set also stayed put, however my tubing that is 60cm long ended up about 100cm long!!
    It is possible to have infusions sets pull out, as you see this isn't that easy if it does happen it isn't a big cruises, as the cannular part of the infusion set is only very small, and it is unlikley that you would even bleed...

    I do know of several pumps users who do ride horses, so for horse riding wouldn't be a problem, most manufacturers do discourage the wearing of pumps durning contact sports, The insulin pump has been taking to all sorts of places round the world, up mountins, through the desert to the artic even Sir Steven Redgrave won his last gold medal with a pump....


    Sat here thinking about the problems that a active police office might have wearing a pump two things do come to mind as a general view, most police officers carry communiation kit, which are connected to both there belts and clipped to shoulder straps (things) also they might have other attachements to there belts the pump wouldn't be much different than this type of kit in many ways.

    The other thought, a pump and insulin supply is carried with the officer at all times, the officer can adjust the pump to suit present needs situation, which even with well controlled MDI, this isn't always possible so a serving officer is less unlikely to be foiled by his/her pump than the MDI...
     
  3. phoenix

    phoenix Type 1 · Expert

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    Hi, I do think there are some potential problems, I don't think that pulling the catheter out would normally cause any injury,(no more than quickly pulling a plaster off) I'm not sure how robust they are, though a strong case would protect it. It would be an expensive item if lost or damaged. The tubing can 'catch ' on things, perhaps strapping the tubing to the body might be a good idea.

    Actually there has been some discussion about this from time to time on an American forum, I think you might get some more experienced answers there http://www.diabetesforums.com/
     
  4. markielew

    markielew · Member

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    Thanks Phoenix,
    I appreciate your message. I also got a private email from another person who posts on here telling me about the other forum and so I joined them today and posted a message for info from US Cops.
    I still want to hear from people in the UK who use pumps to discover how they can be used safely by police officers here.

    Thanks Jopar for your detailed reply. Do you track with your dog and if so, have you had any problems with the pump snagging when tracking through dense undergrowth etc?
    Kind regards
    Mark Lewis
     
  5. jopar

    jopar · Well-Known Member

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    sadly I don't track, something I would like to do though..

    How ever I have done some shrub ferreting, due to retrieving balls from the thick undergrowth of my dads shrub borders though :lol: When doing this I tuck my pump inside the back of my jeans and ensue that the tubing is tuck in and under my top and has yet even though I tend to end up pretty well scratched to pieces I haven't yet caught my tubing...

    The way I look at this, is that a police officer would have the knowledge about the likelyhood of how many occasion durning there duties that they would be required to jump/climb fences walls etc, they would also be aware of how they tackle individuals who might need to be restrained or arrested. They more than likely be aware how they might get grabed, fall or hit in these situations, So would be more than able to work out how they would protect there pump from getting caught, pulled, banged or recieving a hard impact...

    The biggest problem I can see, is creating a procedure that actually deals with the 'if' a pump gets damaged whilst on duty, If the pump recieved damaged perventing it from operating, this could put the officer into a possition of not be fully operational due to the need to inject insulin around every 2 hours or so... To cover basal doses, depending to how quick the pump could be replaced the officer might have to return to a injetion regime until pump arrived, but I'm sure that the police force could atually make the appearance of a new pump happen a lot faster than the postman... It would have to be clarified, who actually covers the cost of replacement, will the officer PCT pay, the police force cover the pump while officer is on duty, or even the police officer them selves?
     
  6. markielew

    markielew · Member

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    Jopar,
    Thanks for your very helpful advice. I haven't got anywhere near working out who would pay for a broken pump yet. If it was a criminal act, then the person arrested would have the criminal damage charge added to any other charges. If it was an accident and due to police activity, the police would have to pay and if it was a negligent or reckless act by the individual then I guess they would have to foot the bill.
    I would also guess we would need to ensure officers had alternative medication near to hand if necessary. Haven't thought that one through yet!
    I'll consider your comments carefully and thanks again for your kind help.
    Regards
    MArk
     
  7. sugarless sue

    sugarless sue · Master

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    I know pumps are expensive but would it not be possible to carry a spare pump in a vehicle that the officer was using?
     
  8. diabetesmum

    diabetesmum Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi,
    My very active 7 year old wears a pump, it takes quite a bashing on a daily basis, you'd be surprised how they bounce (pumps, not 7 year olds!!). It's a bit scratched but still works fine. She has also caught the tubing and had the infusion cannula 'ripped' from her body a couple of times, it's just a bit worse than pulling off a plaster with a little spot of blood, no big deal really.
    Sue
     
  9. weetcreamzz

    weetcreamzz · Newbie

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    Hi there,

    I used to know a UK police officer (I think he was from the Thames Valley force) that wore an insulin pump on duty. I don't have any contact with him anymore, but I remember in my discussions with him that he would make the tubing come out of the front of his shirt, and then the pump would be slipped into the pocket of his stab vest.

    I can see no reason at all why police officers on duty should be prevented from wearing pumps. In fact, pump-wearers are usually much more controlled and aware of their diabetes, and can easily equip themselves for more exercise on duty through running etc. by reducing basal rates on the pump.

    I have had my pump pulled out before as I took it off my belt clip when I was sitting down and I tied the tubing onto the back of my chair as I was bored (sooo silly I know!). Then the phone rang and I jumped up and ran to it. Of course the cannula was ripped out but this causes no injury as its just like ripping off a plaster. Most people would be able to go on without any problems being disconnected from a pump for a short while (about an hour or 2), but of course it would be recommended to carry an insulin pen in the stab vest as well.

    The cost issue is another can of worms, but it shouldn't be. Firstly its quite unlikely, even though officers are on duty everyday, that the pump would get damaged. They are extremely robust, particularly Accuchek and Medtronic pumps. In the unlikely situations it might get damaged, this would probably be down to criminal damage charges to a suspect/prisoner. In the even more unlikely other scenarios, I know that with Accuchek if you cause damage to the pump yourself by accident they almost instantly replace it without charge to the user as the PCT usually foots the bill, but then again the PCT are usually insured with pump companies and this should never be a problem.

    Hope this helps!
     
  10. markielew

    markielew · Member

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    Thank you to both DiabetesMum and Weetcreamzz for your repsonses, I appreciate your help.
    Kind regards
    Mark
     
  11. weetcreamzz

    weetcreamzz · Newbie

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    Glad to be helpful markielew. Please do let us know the outcome of your research in ascertaining whether insulin pumpers can be officers. Not that I want join the police myself (I'm much too old for that!), but it would definately help in changing peoples' perceptions.....both of the police force being viewed as having too much of an old conservative (with a small 'c'!) mentality, and of diabetics thinking that they have a smaller scope of opportunities.
     
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