Animas pump failure

Hi everyone I just got my ping in the mail last friday and will be starting it within the next 2 weeks. I am excited and a little afraid at the same time. I was all good until i opened the box the pump was shipped in to read a sheet of paper with bold lettering stating that if the pump gets damaged internally the pump could fail and empty the whole vial of insulin into you body:( And then i was checking out youtube about the pump in general to find a guy who this actually happened to, so im not to sure on this pumping thing right now. has anyone had a pump fail on them or maybe had a whole vial of insulin dumped into their body from a pump failing???

never even heard that but now i’m a bit freaked out. I’ve had the ping for 2 years and its never happened.

I’ve been on multiple different pumps over the last 13 years and my daughter has been using a pump for 12. I/we have never had a pump fail in that manner (or had heard of it happening). Hope this helps…

You are not alone - I too was very worried about this same issue - I have been pumping for exactly one year with my ping.

I have met one person that had a pump malfunction and it was not an animas pump. He is a big guy and he got through the situation fine. However, to ease my mind a bit - I got on Dexcom CGM as well.

The very scary thing is that, IF any pump fails and a whole cartridge does get released into the body, depending on your body weight, how much insulin was released etc…then we could be in big trouble…and even deadly serious trouble. This possibility haunted me for a bit but the truth is we have to keep things in perspective - pump malfunctions are super rare…we are in more danger driving our cars than our pump malfunctioning and killing us. I trust animas and the technology - and have not heard of any animas users experiencing serious pump failures. Maybe there are some stories out there? Anyone have a pump failure to share?

Ive heard of it happening but it’s never happened to me. Mom talked to Animas about it and they said it’s happened when the person was doing a site change. When they loaded the cartridge, the pump emptied the whole thing. That’s the only time I’ve ever heard of it happening, though. I disconnect when loading in a new cartridge to be safe. I’ve never heard of it just randomly happening.

yeah i have a dex 7 too. i ran out of sensors but reordered, i didnt want to start the pump w/o one in.

yeah the paper said to remove the pump when doing a site change which makes alot of sense

That makes some sense then - I am never connected to the pump when I do a site change. Due to all the warnings that you need to click through when changing the cartridge etc, it sounds like there might have been some user error. I just got the Dex 7 in September and it’s helped me out some with catching lows - but that’s more often because I’m busier than normal (more active).

Yes, it repeats that in several places.

It CAN happen, but only if you fail to disconnect while rewinding or priming… most sensible people would disconnect. Personally I don’t think it’s worth stressing out over… the pump will NOT just go crazy and inject you with a ton of insulin… usually the “failures” involve some degree of user error (such as not following the directions to disconnect).

I haven’t heard about that happening with Animas, but I do know that there was at least one case with a Minimed pump up in Canada – Fat Cat Anna wrote about it on her blog & I think she also wrote about it on TuD. Apparently the coroner sent the pump to Minimed and they sent it back without even looking at it.

I was at a doctor’s last year & checked my BS in the waiting room and some lady asked me what it was. At first I thought she was diabetic but she wasn’t. She told me about a guy she worked with that had a very bad low and died. She was talking to him on the phone because they were making arrangements to go someplace for work and he told her he had to go because his BS was low and he would call her back. He ended up dying. She thought it was his pump but she also said he was not one to take care of himself and rarely checked his BS.

Maybe about two years ago Minimed had a bunch of bad sets – I think they were recalled and then they had shortages because of the recall. A guy on another board said that he was outside and his BS crashed all of a sudden. His neighbor saw him go down and called for an ambulance. He said he never had a low like that and was sure it was his pump or his insets but Minimed tried to tell him it wasn’t. That happened right before the recall.

I know stuff can happen but I am not going to worry about it – I figure when my time is up, it is up. You can get hit by a drunk driver. Look at the people killed over the weekend, including a 9 year old girl.

I don’t think this problem may occur during a bolus because the software controls how many units provide.

This kind of failure happened during the step “load cartridge”, when the piston goes on without stopping until it reaches the cartridge (so in this case it stops due to something mechanical, I guess there’s a pressure sensor and the software waits a signal to block the piston and a failure is compatible with a physical damage… The software must be bug free and I hope it is).

As others have said…ALWAYS DISCONNECT before doing a site change that includes a PRIME-REWIND. Then, in the highly unlikely event the pump malfunctions, it won’t be deadly.

The only thing I remember reading at one point in the last year or so was that IF the Animas pump was subjected to SEVERE shocks, it MIGHT malfunction and dump a whole cartridge DURING A PRIME-REWIND.

Finally, your BG level can crash for a variety of reasons (stress, unusual physical activity, etc). It’s always up to you to keep track of your sugar levels and adjust your eating habits and basal rates accordingly.

I’ve learned over the 7 years I’ve been pumping that (for me) being a Diabetic is like walking on a tightrope. If I don’t faithfully check my BG level before and after a meal, and whenever I don’t feel “right”, I’ll get into trouble (with a bad “low” or “high”.

I’ve also learned to be pretty careful with what I eat (a constant learning experience) regarding what drives my sugar levels up high. I’m not perfect, I sometimes eat something I shouldn’t…but then get right back on track and “play safe” for quite a while before eating something I shouldn’t.


The guy that died in Canada was sleeping when his pump malfunctioned. This is from what was on TuDiabetes about it:

The warning that comes with the Animas pump refers specifically to the need to ALWAYS DISCONNECT during the rewind/load/prime steps. (HENCE ALL THE WARNINGS during those steps) In the case that the pump has been damaged AND you do not disconnect during the rewind/load/prime step, AND the sensor does not detect the cartridge that is in the pump AND it does not stop as it generally does when the cartridge is detected . . . THEN and ONLY THEN could the pump deliver a full cartridge of insulin. The morale of the story is: ALWAYS follow directions . . . even when you do not understand why . . . because there IS a reason why those directions are given.

In addition it is a good idea to call Animas if your pump is losing prime for unexpected reasons so they can determine the cause . . . . As I do know of people who get sloppy about disconnecting when their pump looses prime, they don’t feel like disconnecting, so they re-prime a unit or two while attached . . . and they are the ones who end up getting a cartridge full of insulin . . . in the event that their pump had been damaged.

I read the thread that Kelly posted. It seems that the commenter’s are blasting the OP that she isn’t a diabetic and what does the story has to do with them (at least that is what I got from it).

I am not a pumper yet as I am STILL WAITING for the stupid paperwork to get processed (wrote a blog about it). I do not have concerns about this as of yet as I know ifs a rare event that can happen.

Plus I am sure that pump companies are taking this type even seriously and know we should do the responsible thing, learn all about the pump and to be sure we are doing things correctly.

Malfunctioning pumps has always been something that has lingered in the back of my head from the very instant I first heard about insulin pumps, and this was right after diagnosis.

I have spent a ton of my own time digging away in Google and on here, the safety history of pumps is one of many major deciding factors on what pump I would choose, waterproofing is another deciding factor for me.

So after doing plenty of homework online, the ping won me entirely over, there has yet to be a known case (at least from my current understanding) of any Animas pump suddenly going into prime mode, I just couldn’t find any reports of them doing that.

As for MM’s, thats where the pump trouble has been taking place, I dont even need to describe whats happened from their pumps.

Trust me Adam, this ping is safe, I am 1 full week into my loaner unit and I’ve decided that it is a very good improvement over MDI for me, and I am going to buy one. My currently lifestyle has major demands for adjusting basils between lazy days, and workout days. Instead of being forced to snack away consistently just to sustain normal levels during the workout days.

You couldn’t of choose a better pump, especially if safety is strongly on your mind. Provided you follow the proper safety rules, and just like everyone says, make sure its disconnected from you’re body before messing with the reservoir in any kind of way.

Sarah is right - it can happen. It’s a mechanical device. Just we HOPE that manufacturers of the devices we wear don’t even have this hiccup. As Kelly states below, I was approached by Stephen Krueger family to write about what had happened to him, and his MM 512 emptied the whole cartridge into him . Just search here in Tudiabetes under his name - and you’ll be able to find what was written by myself along with comments that came forth (quite a discussion). As well - I originally published it in in both forum area and in my blog.
Because of what I wrote, I did hear privately from a few diabetics whose pumps had primed the whole cartridge into them - and they lived through it. It primed on it’s own accord - not because they were changing cartridge / infusion set. I have also heard from a few other people whose loved ones have died due to this very rare occurence. I also am helping someone whose loved one has been in a coma for past 3 years.
Anna and Salvador (Animas 2020)

Glad to hear you are enjoying the Ping - would love to have that pump - but it came to Canada a year later after I got my 2020 - and to upgrade was $800 . So for now, I go remoteless - but very satisfied with the support I get from Johnson & Johnson team here in Canada - and hopefully when it’s time for a new pump - I’ll go with them again (like the fact it’s compact / water proof / easy screen to read).

don’t worry, months ago the Italian importer wrote us an Animas’s alert: in that letter they confirm the same they said to brandi:it may happen in very few case, loading the cartridge, that the pump empties the whole thing. This is the only time it can happen because in “normal” use there are a lot of checks to limit the maximum amount. They recommend to allways disconnect the infusion set from cannula for any "manipulation"
different from bolus or basal. First of all you must disconnect when loading in a new cartridge to be safe. My daughter (11 years, T1 since '04) wears the same Animas since April '08: no pump fail, not even going canoeing down in Ardeche river in '09!