Insulin Pump Problems?

We ran an article on Diabetes News Hound today about a faulty insulin pump that led to the death of its user. You can check it out here: Has anyone heard of any similar occurrences?

I read about that last night Christopher - and this happened 3 years ago - but Health Canada had to do all the investigations first before releasing the news to the public! Here I was getting ready to shut down the PC - and I was so stunned by the news (actually open up a thread about it in the forums at Diabetes1). It made me wonder about my pump. I didn’t have any nightmares thank goodness - but really - this should not have happened - but obviously there is some glitch in the programming that maybe wasn’t working properly? I’m no IT expert here.

My thought is - okay - I’m wearing a CGMS (the pump Steven Krueger was wearing was the Medtronic Minimed Paradigm infusion pump, model MMT-511 ) - it’s connected to the pump - which is malfunctioning - so of course - it won’t alarm or will it? Alot of questions are being raised in people’s minds today I’m sure after reading this story.

In answer to your question tho’ - never heard of this happening before - not with a pump going into overdrive - but I new on the scene of pumping - so perhaps some of the folks out there who have been pumping longer can fill us in.

I wish there was more information given specifically about the ‘malfunction’ that occurred. I’ve been pumping for nearly 20 years and none of my pumps ever just gave me insulin without some button selection and action. I’m not saying it isn’t possible, I’ve had an issue or two with my own pumps but they were most definitley my error or mishandling. Obviously the pumps are found to be okay, they are still on the market. I’ve never heard of a pump going into overdrive before!

I read the article too and tried to figure out, when I was wearing MM 511 …model 511 was NOT not connected to the CGMS …model 522 and 722 were the first models . My thought was , that maybe his pump was past the 4 year warrenty ? I started with 508 in 2001 and have regularly updated …511 started in 2003 ??? …and it could have been human failure as in overdosing by needle ;part of the story is not told I think .

He had been on the pump for 4 years… so it’s very possible that it was out of warranty at that point. But so what! That is not an excuse for a pump to KILL you. I can’t say it better than his parents, so let me just retype that –

“All mechanical devices fail at some time, however, they should fail in a safe mode rather than a lethal mode.”

As to whether there was human error, I’m pretty sure they thought of that and looked into it. remember, this happened 3 years ago – they have taken a loooong look at this.

“Steven’s pump failed by giving him a lethal dose of insulin…The cause of death was confirmed by the B.C. coroner’s office. Dr. Phillip Neufeld at the Health Canada lab in Ottawa tested the pump and confirmed the failure”

This story scared the crap out of me cause I had a MM511 for 4 years.

Curious Nel - do you get a new pump every 4 years - or when the warranty runs out or only when it starts to have problems? My hubby has 5 more years before he retires - and then we’ll no longer have his work medical coverage - which is the only way that I could afford the pump I have now. I’m hoping my present pump lasts as long as it can - and before he stops work - and if his insurance still covers the pump - I’ll get a new one - and deal with how to pay for the infusion sets, etc. on our retirement funds (have been saving up since I started work at 18 - but not everyone starts saving for retirement at such an early age- my Dad advised me to start early - smart man!).