Frequently Asked Questions
An insulin pump can be superior to daily injections for many reasons—the greatest being that its use provides for a much greater ability to manage and control diabetes. The insulin pump provides a continuous flow of insulin, which minimises unwanted variation of insulin action you may experience with multiple injections. The pump also gives you a precise dose of insulin based on your current needs—even as those needs change.
However, despite the advantages of using an insulin pump, treatment outcomes still depend on how well you take care of yourself. Eating well, staying active, checking blood glucose frequently are all important aspects of optimising your health. When in the hands of a person committed to better health, supported by an experienced healthcare team, insulin pump therapy can make managing diabetes easier and far more flexible than ever before.
We recommend the use of Lithium batteries where possible. The Accu-Chek Spirit Combo insulin pump uses 1 AA battery (LR6 1.5 V AA alkaline, FR6 1.5 V AA lithium or 1.2 V rechargeable NiMH HR6 AA). You must select the correct battery type in the insulin pump setup when you replace your battery.
Do NOT use carbon-zinc, nickel-cadmium (NiCd) or super heavy duty batteries.
While you may feel a small pinch when inserting the set, many people find infusion set insertion more comfortable than giving injections. Once the set is under the skin, it is so comfortable that many people forget they're wearing it.
Battery life depends on Accu-Chek Spirit Combo insulin pump use, including daily insulin requirements, frequency of delivery and backlight usage.
If used in a typical usage pattern of 50 Units / day using U100 insulin and normal operating temperature (23 °C ±2 °C [73 °F ±4 °F]) the battery life is approximately:
- Alkaline: 70 days for Bluetooth® off; or 30 days for Bluetooth® on
- Lithium: 200 days for Bluetooth® off; or 80 days for Bluetooth® on
NiMH: 100 days for Bluetooth® off; or 40 days for Bluetooth® on
There are several ways to find other insulin pump users. Ask your healthcare team about pump groups or pumpers you can talk to about their experiences. The Internet is also a valuable resource for contacting pump users.
We recommend the use of Lithium batteries where possible. The Accu-Chek Performa Combo meter uses 3 AAA (1.5V) alkaline batteries.
There are three things that determine how long it takes:
- How well you understand diabetes care
- How well you understand insulin pump therapy
- How well you operate the pump
Understanding diabetes care involves the basic principles of nutrition, activity and medicine. If you're experienced in diabetes care, you probably already know these principles. If you're new to diabetes, you can attend an education program in your community—ask a healthcare provider for information on local sessions.
Understanding insulin pump therapy involves a training session with a diabetes educator and a personalised therapy plan.
Learning to operate the pump takes training and practice. We offer comprehensive training, insulin pump manuals, as well as other materials written for insulin pump users.
To help protect the Accu-Chek Spirit Combo insulin pump, the Accu-Chek Spirit Combo adapter and battery cover should be replaced every 2 months.
Insulin pumps have been available for decades. Today's insulin pumps, however, are much more advanced than early models. Modern pumps use the latest microprocessor technology to regulate insulin delivery and provide safety checks. For example, the Accu-Chek Spirit Combo insulin pump performs over 9 million safety checks each day.
Absolutely. You can easily pair a new replacement Accu-Chek Performa Combo meter with your pump. Simply call the Accu-Chek Pump Hotline on 1800 633 457
Insulin pump consumables are subsidised by the National Diabetes Services Scheme. Please visit www. ndss.com.au/product-and-supply for more information
The Accu-Chek Combo system consists of the Accu-Chek Spirit Combo insulin pump and the Accu-Chek Performa Combo meter to provide blood glucose monitoring, bolus advice, remote control of the pump and extensive data management capabilities. It's discreet, customisable to your own needs and designed to be easy to use.
The Accu-Chek Spirit Combo insulin pump can withstand brief accidental water contact such as rain, water splashes or accidental immersion (IPX8). Before taking a bath or going into a whirlpool, shower or swimming pool, you should disconnect and remove your pump. Your Accu-Chek Performa Combo meter is not waterproof and must be kept dry at all times.
Yes. If you are traveling outside of the country, you may be eligible for a loan pump. Please call the Accu-Chek pump hotline on 1800 633 457 for details.
Optimal control requires a balanced approach. Insulin pumps can certainly help you control your blood glucose level, but eating properly, monitoring your blood glucose and regular activity are equally important. The insulin pump doesn't take care of your diabetes—you do.
The pump and meter use a globally approved communication standard called Bluetooth® wireless technology. This allows intelligent electronic devices to communicate with each other over short-range wireless links while maintaining high levels of security.
Like other electronic and communications equipment, the Bluetooth® service on the Accu-Chek Combo system must be switched off for the pump and meter if directed by the airline. While the Bluetooth® service is off, the Accu-Chek Spirit Combo insulin pump can be operated independently of the Accu-Chek Aviva/Performa Combo meter.
To turn Bluetooth® service off on the Accu-Chek Spirit Combo insulin pump, go to the Bluetooth® Settings menu. On the Accu-Chek Aviva/Performa Combo meter, go into the Settings menu, then Meter, then Bluetooth®. Follow the instructions given on the screen.
The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc., and any use of such marks by Roche is under license.
This is the amount of insulin delivered per hour that is required to cover your background (or basal), blood glucose lowering insulin needs. In insulin pump therapy, your basal rate is determined together with your doctor or healthcare team and can be adjusted to meet your individual physiological needs throughout the day. Your basal rate is delivered by your insulin pump according to the curve of your personal Basal profile or profiles.
Approximately 2 meters (6.5 feet). If the pump has begun to deliver a bolus and it leaves the communication range, the bolus dose will be completed.
No. You should never use your insulin pump near electromagnetic fields such as x-ray, computer tomography (CT) or MRI. Disconnect and remove your pump and leave it outside these areas. If you do not follow this instruction your pump can be damaged and quit operation.
Regarding infusion sets, there is no need to remove a steel needle infusion set for X-Ray or CT. However, we do recommend you completely remove a steel infusion set for MRI scans.
The amount of insulin delivered (in addition to the basal rate) to cover the intake of food and to correct high blood glucose levels. The factors that calculate a bolus amount are determined and adjusted by your doctor or healthcare professional.
When a warning is sent to the pump display, the pump will alert you by vibrating and emitting an acoustic signal. The warning will also be displayed on the Accu-Chek Performa Combo meter, so you don't have to access the pump to see the warning and take appropriate action.
The Accu-Chek Spirit Combo pump will not be affected by walk-through metal detectors. We recommend you do not put either the pump or the meter through the carry-on baggage X-Ray machine. For full body scanners, we recommend putting your pump into STOP mode to avoid the chance of any interference with a body scanner machine. We recommend you obtain a letter from your healthcare professional stating you have diabetes, will be wearing an insulin pump and will be carrying consumables.
Theoretically a strong magnetic field can lead to a permanent defect in the pump but we have no known case of such defect.
An insulin pump is designed to deliver insulin continuously under the surface of the skin. It may also be referred to as continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion or CSII. A pump helps keep blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible. A landmark scientific study showed that maintaining blood glucose levels at or near normal levels greatly decreases the likelihood of complications from diabetes.1
1Diabetes Control and Complications Trial Research Group. The effect of intensive treatment of diabetes on the development and progression of long-term complications in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. New Engl J Med. 1993;329:977-986.
The bolus advisor provides a recommendation of insulin units to deliver based on your blood glucose value, carb intake and personal settings such as your insulin-to-carb ratio.
You can only pair the Accu-Chek Performa Combo meter with your Accu-Chek Spirit Combo insulin pump.
Today's insulin pumps are about the size of a mobile phone and weigh only about 100grams. During the day, you can clip it to the waistband of your clothing or put it in a pocket. Some people even wear the pump in a bra pouch or thigh pouch. You have choices at night, too. Some people clip the pump to their pajamas, while others put it in a pocket or under their pillow. Many people simply lay the pump next to them.
The Accu-Chek Spirit Combo Pump and the Accu-Chek Performa Combo meter are only available as a set. You can experience the most benefit by using the pump and meter together. The pump can be operated as a single unit device. All the functions apart from diary/graphs and bolus advice are available on the pump itself.
The Accu-Chek Spirit Combo insulin pump is fully functional without the meter and can be operated manually. If you forget the meter, you will be unable to perform a bG check or receive bolus advice. You will need to calculate your insulin requirement manually and deliver the bolus using the pump
Your healthcare professional will prescribe the insulin that is appropriate for you. An insulin pump delivers a continuous supply of fast-acting insulin, so long-acting insulin is not needed. Because fast-acting insulin has more predictable absorption than intermediate or long-acting insulin, your blood glucose levels can be better controlled.
Yes. While the Accu-Chek Combo system has been designed to be used together for maximum benefit, both products can be used as stand-alone devices as needed.
The Accu-Chek Combo Pump System warranty provides against defects in materials and workmanship for four years. If your Accu-Chek Combo Pump System malfunctions due to intentional or unintentional misuse or miss-handling, or if it is lost or stolen, any repair or replacement to the Accu-Chek Combo Pump System is not covered under warranty - you will have the opportunity to purchase a new Accu-Chek Combo Pump System. We recommend you obtain portable goods coverage on your home contents insurance policy or travel insurance policy to cover the cost of the Accu-Chek Combo Pump System
There are many accessories that let you keep the pump concealed. For women, a popular option is a bra pouch. It clips on the side of the bra and the pump hangs under the arm. This insulin pump pouch works well for formal dresses, sundresses and tank tops. There are also specially designed thigh pouches.
The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc., and any use of such marks by Roche is under license
No. Your Accu-Chek Spirit Combo insulin pump can be paired with an Accu-Chek Performa Combo meter only, and only those two devices will be able to communicate with one another. As a security measure, it's also not possible to pair more than one Accu-Chek Performa Combo meter with your insulin pump.
You'll need infusion sets (the tubing and connectors to attach the pump to your body), cartridges for the insulin, adapters (which connect the cartridge to the infusion set), batteries, battery covers and blood glucose monitoring supplies.
It is possible to use the Accu-Chek Spirit Combo insulin pump during air travel. However there are some aspects which need to be considered:
1. Please disconnect your infusion set during take- off and landing.
Rapid and extreme changes in air pressure, for example in an air plane that is taking off or landing can influence insulin delivery, especially if there are air bubbles in the cartridge or tubing.
2. Turn off Bluetooth on both devices (pump and meter) to prevent communication between pump and meter to comply with flight safety instructions.
You can use U100 rapid-acting insulin.
No. Insulin pumps are worn outside the body. They do not require any surgery or invasive procedures and can be disconnected as needed.
Early occlusion detection is an important factor for effective insulin pump therapy.
- An occlusion is an unexpected event where the flow of insulin from a pump into the subcutaneous tissue is blocked.
- The patient is typically not aware that an occlusion has occurred.
- Due to missed insulin, a malfunction can often result in elevated bG levels, which if undetected can lead to hyperglycaemia or Ketosis with the risk for the development of life threatening Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA).1
With its faster occlusion detection, the Accu-Chek Combo system may help to reduce the severity of hyperglycaemia and minimises the risk of ketoacidosis resulting from occlusions.
The Accu-Chek Performa Combo meter uses Accu-Chek Performa test strips.
An insulin pump is attached to you with an infusion set. Depending on the design, an infusion set may have a steel or soft cannula. In case you use a soft infusion set, the cannula is inserted with an introducer needle that is removed immediately after insertion. Depending on the design of the infusion set, the cannula may be placed at a 90° angle or a 20-45° angle to the surface of the skin. An infusion set is generally changed every 2 (steel) to 3 (Teflon) days.
You may insert the infusion set in the abdominal area. Most insulin pump users rotate sites on their abdomen, as this area tends to have the best absorption. Consult with your health care provider to see if other sites are appropriate for you. Modern infusion sets are comfortable and easy to use, and there is a style for virtually every insulin pump user.
The Accu-Chek insulin pump has not been tested at altitudes in excess of 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) above sea level. If your travels take you to an area in excess of 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) above sea level, stop and remove your pump. This does not apply to use in airplanes with pressurised cabins.
The barometric pressure during operation should be between 50 to 106 kPa (500 to 1060 mbar).
No. Your meter should already have a black code key inserted. Just leave it in place. Your meter is already coded.