Scuba and the OmniPod

I just joined this group, and am looking for anyone who has scuba dived while on the OmniPod. My 16 year old daughter is scuba diving for the first time this summer and is SO excited to do so. She is going with her school and the teacher leading the trip is also a diabetic. She is going to be in great hands {aside from her own! ;)} My problem is this. Her doctor wants her to switch her pump before the trip. We are perfectly happy with the OmniPod. BUT, so much insulin will be wasted with these dives, taking the pod off for every dive. Anybody have any tips? I'd like to go back to the doctor armed with some information to back our decision to stay on the OmniPod. She tried just suspending the pod today while practicing in the school pool, but it didn't work. It kept alarming, and after, I don't think she got insulin-even though we resumed the pod. {We were just trying our own 'science experiment'}. It just seems to be such a shame to switch pumps and be locked in for four years for the sake of a week long trip {4 boat outings, with 2 35-45 minute dives each). Any tips from experience with this would be greatly appreciated!

Personally, I just go back to MDI for dive trips. I agree with you completely about switching the pump (even though I'm on a Ping).

Did you try calling the customer service folks for the OmniPod? I did. They told me not to scuba dive with an OmniPod. I also called the customer service folks at MDI. They told me not to get it wet.
There is a very big difference between using an electronic device that is "waterproof" enough so you can go swimming, and a device that is "pressureproof". Going to 60 feet in scuba gear will most likely result in a crushed insulin pump. And the manufacturer will not honor the warranty. The diver that wears the insulin pump while it is being crushed and rendered inoperable is taking their lives in their hands. Breaching the housing of the pump could create high pressure on the wrong side of the pump and force a massive dose of insulin into the diver's body.
Putting the device in a pressure proof Pelican case type container won't work, either, as the catheter line will leak seawater into the housing or into your body. Bad juju.
I have also checked with a number of other insulin pump manufacturers and they have all told me that they do not sell a pressure proof insulin pump, and have no plans to do so in the future. If someone on this thread knows of a pump that can be worn to say, 300 fsw, I would love to know about it. I am a technical diver, use trimix (helium/oxygen/nitrogen) in my rebreather, and have been diving since 1965.

Do not dive with an insulin pump.


1 Like

Thanks for your input. No, she will not be diving with the pod on. The problem comes in with the taking it on and off to do the dives. We can not re-use the insulin once the pod is removed, and the minimum is 85 units. We would be wasting the pods as well, since they are set to be removed every 3 days (although my daughter goes through them every 2 1/2 days). This trip would be pod removal every day for four days. After much thought and a conversation with one of her health care providers, I think we are just going to have to bite the bullet and let her take them off every day. I am hoping to purchase extra insulin to compensate. It shouldn't be too bad~ it would be diving for 35-45 minutes, come up for 20 (Just enough time to check her sugar and eat if necessary. OR if she needs to correct, I will have her do it with an injection), and another dive for 35-45 minutes. I hate to mess with another pump, due to insurance reasons at this time. The doctor likes the other pump better, and also likes the idea that she would be able disconnect and connect again when needed. BUT, my daughter likes the pump she is on. It's a lot to change around and be stuck with for four years just for four dive trips. I refuse to let diabetes stop her from anything she wants to do, it's just going to take some serious planning! :)

And do you love the Ping?

Please pardon my misunderstanding. I get all kinds of questions about diving with an insulin pump and there are some folks that seem to have a hard time understanding the issue of pressure under water. When I go on a diving trip, I take the insulin bottle, syringes and my meter. You can go back on the pump when you get home.
I think it is great that your girl is getting into scuba diving. One of the things I tell diabetics is that if you are nervous about having a low glucose event while under water, you probably shouldn't be driving a car, either. That helps keep things in perspective. I suspect that a diabetic teenager might need a bit more attention, as teenagers I know are couch potatoes one moment and whirling dervishes the next.
The biggest problem seems to be divemasters, boat captains, and diving instructors that think there is some kind of interaction between blood glucose levels and depth. There isn't one.
Wherever she goes diving, I hope your daughter has fun, and please tell us all about it on this thread when she gets home. Pictures are way cool, too!
And if she ever needs a beat up old scruffy ex hard hat diving buddy, please let me know. According to my kids, I learned to dive right after the Good Lord invented water.


LOL! That's hilarious! Do your kids dive too?

The original thought was to go back on shots for the trip, but she has a local allergic reaction to long acting insulin. Both Lantus and Levmir. So, rightfully so, the docs are worried her reaction may get worse every time she uses it, and who knows what can happen then. Not only that, but she has about 8 different basal rates throughout the day. It would be REALLY hard to have any sense of control with shots.

Yes, good point about the car! Truthfully, she had more of a hard time not panicking while breathing under water! I think she just automatically thinks that the diabetes will be the last thing to stop her! LOL Thank God the teacher leading the trip is also a diabetic, and her husband is going too...and he's a paramedic. Dream team, I suppose! :) Her teacher dives many times throughout the year, I am completely comfortable with her. She has been a great 'mentor' for my daughter. I love that she gets to see a diabetic doing a job she loves, having babies, scuba diving...she is not stopped at all by it. Nor should she be!

I couldn't agree more about the teenager needing more attention! That's an understatement! LOL

I will surely post some pics! And, btw...I think it's great that you scuba dive so much! How long have you had diabetes?


The Omnipod is certified to 25ft (or 7.6m) for 60 minutes, copying the text from the manual (this is the old pod, the new one is the same):

Watertight rating: IPX8 (25 feet for 60 minutes)

So no problem snorkelling for me (I can't propel myself to that depth, maybe I get to 15ft) and no problem with water sports in general with adequate protection (e.g. a wet suit) to prevent the force of the water simply ripping the pod off. Likewise for the recreational things like 'snuba' which is (according to wikipedia) limited to 20ft.

John Bowler

Hey Rock,

Not sure you’re active on here any more but I saw your post about trimix diving and it looks like the tech diving Type 1 community is pretty small. I’m a trimix rebreather diver as well, but with a new type 1 diagnosis. Would love to hear how you’ve managed it to help me get back on those long dives. Can’t seem to send you a message so give me a shout here if you can.


I don’t scuba dive, but I snorkel all the time and the pod has been fine up to an hour plus in constant ocean submersion. Almost all surface pressure only. I know though it will only go so deep.