CBC article on insulin pumps causing more deaths than any other medical device in Canada

My DD is about to get set up with her first pump after 6 years on MDI (a tslim x2). As a mother, I found this article a bit disturbing. Any comments appreciated.

Shared via the CBC News Android App

I seriously question the accuracy of the data in the article.

It has neither the smell of truth nor facts which are consistent with multiple other data sources that I have read.

Nothing to do with the OP but the data source itself is not what I would call accurate.


I’m always a little weary when diabetes is mentioned in the media. This article seems like a list of people who where harmed by pumps, with no mention of comparative data to mdi. Lots of other (less dire) stuff to worry about.

The article says, “Health Canada data … reveals that in the past ten years, insulin pumps … may have a played a role in 103 deaths and more than 1,900 injuries,” but then ends with: “adverse event reports sent to Health Canada do not establish whether a medical device actually caused an injury or death.” Which does not clarify things for this reader, at least.

If I’m driving a car and hit a patch of ice and skid and get injured, well yes, the car “may have played a role” in my injury, but it didn’t cause it.


“Convenient device requires patient training to be effective and safe, doctor says”



“But her family now says it’s possible using a pump was never a good idea for her. They say she was a “brittle” diabetic, which means her blood sugar levels were unstable and sometimes reached extreme highs and lows.”

Why, pray tell, should ‘brittle diabetics’ not use an insulin pump?

Since TUD has partnered up with BeyondType1, let’s quote them on ‘brittle diabetes’: “…necessitates frequent self-monitoring of blood glucose, the use of an insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitoring device (CGM).”


Couldn’t agree more with you Tim

CBC pushes / publishes “link bait” like this on a regular basis. What else would you expect from a government subsidized news network ?

One can always hope for better…

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Everybody wants clicks, doesn’t matter how they’re funded. Looks like privately owned news outlets play the same game.

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No kidding.

I don’t believe anything I see in the media these days.

:disappointed_relieved: Sad :disappointed_relieved:

This is a screenshot of the CBC National’s story. Not a very strong statement. How many of those people died in auto accidents or from natural causes not related to the insulin pump they were wearing.


Seriously - That was the first thought that crossed my mind.

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I wonder how many diabetics died while not wearing a pump during the same period?


I’d take it with a grain of salt and also understand that an insulin pump is a tool to help better manage diabetes. It’s not a replacement pancreas. As with any diabetic therapy, there are pros and cons which require careful weighing to determine whether it’s right for you or your loved one. Diabetes is a complicated disease that necessitates management on various fronts: diet, medication, activity, and whatever else you’re dealing with at any given time.

In my household we consider diabetes to be a family issue. My husband and adult daughter know how to check my Dexcom blood sugar reading, know the signs of when I am low or high and how to intervene, they know how to check my blood sugar with a meter. Even my little one knows that mommy has a problem with sugar in her blood, and where my “medicine” kit is.


We as Humans are so spoiled. We have insurance for everything we do. We are being played as so dumb we don’t even have the sense to wear a seat belt so we have to make a law that requires us to do so. Deciding to live with a medical device that is possible to slowly kill you if you don’t understand how to use it should be YOUR responsibility. After all, it’s YOUR body. Shall we stop buying gasoline because it is flammable?


And how many people have lived longer because of them hmmm? The media should just not talk about diabetes. They can’t seem to function properly talking about it, yet don’t seem to have nearly as much issue with other illnesses, not that they aren’t still an issue sometimes.

One of the things I found disturbing in this article is that in 2010 the Canadian government stopped funding the lab that tests medical devices (ie insulin pumps) and places the testing back on the actual provider. Granted they need to prove accurate & extensive testing… Seems like a questionable system to me.

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I really think 99.99% of these problems are due to user error or inattention. If I had a diabetic kid I’d want him/her on a pump and feel safer that way.

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As I commented in the other thread on this topic, why this sudden flurry of stories about insulin pump failures? I’ve worn insulin pumps from three different manufacturers over the last 32 years. I’ve found them to be incredibly dependable and when they sometimes failed, they were immediately replaced under warranty. I never had an un-commanded over-delivery of insulin.

This whole story seems like a contrived public relations campaign to benefit some unknown entity.

It’s not just insulin pumps. A wide range of medical devices have come under scrutiny:

The Star/CBC/Radio-Canada investigation is part of the first-ever global examination of the medical device industry and its overseers. Over the course of a year, more than 250 journalists at 58 news organizations in 36 countries spoke with hundreds of doctors, researchers, industry insiders and patients.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has created a public database: A global compilation of data that frustrated patient advocates have sought from national and international health authorities for years. But it only hints at larger problems. Many adverse events are never reported. Many health authorities refuse to make public, or simply never collect, information about patient harm.