Insulin pumps are designed to be able to comfortably withstand temporary exposure to water.
This means that if you get splashed or your insulin pump drops into the sink when washing, it shouldn’t malfunction if it’s soon dried with a towel.
Some pumps have been designed specifically with greater waterproof protection in mind and have been tested to confirm their waterproof capabilities.
Image text: Some insulin pumps have been specifically designed to be waterproof
Which insulin pumps are waterproof?
Insulin pumps need to be waterproof to some degree but some have been shown to be more waterproof than others.
The following list shows to which depths and which durations different insulin pumps have been shown to be waterproof:
- Lifescan Animas Vibe : 3.6m depth for up to 24 hours (IPX-8)
- DANA Diabecare R: 3m depth for 24 hours (IPX-8)
- Ypsomed mylife OmniPod : 7.6m depth for up to 1 hour (IPX-8)
- Accu-Chek Spirit Combo : 2.4m depth for up to 1 hour (IPX-8)
- Medtronic MiniMed Paradigm Veo : This pump is not waterproof – slightest moisture may damage the pump
Note that handheld remote devices for these insulin pumps are not waterproof and should not be exposed to water.
Can these pumps be used in the bath, shower or swimming pool?
Yes, waterproof pumps can be used for bathing, showering or spending time in a swimming pool as long as you keep within the depths and times specified by the pump.
Are there any limitations to using waterproof insulin pumps?
Aside from time and depth considerations given above, there are also some other limitations which need to be taken into consideration.
Waterproof insulin pumps should not be exposed to high temperatures for extended periods of time as this could affect the quality of the insulin inside. It is therefore recommended to disconnect your insulin pump before using a sauna or hot tub.
When spending time in the water, it can be advisable to get out of the water occasionally to check whether the adhesive on your infusion site has started to become loose.
If you have an insulin pump that is not designed to be waterproof, you can help to protect it from water using a waterproof case.
The Aquapac Insulin Pump Case is a waterproof case for insulin pumps. An insulin pump can be used when in the case but the makers point out that the rate of flow of insulin may be affected and so cannot guarantee its suitability for use when in the case.
If you are disconnecting your pump to swim or shower , a waterproof case can be useful for ensuring your insulin pump stays dry. There are a number of waterproof cases that have been specifically designed for holding disconnected insulin pumps.