Insulin Pumps- How long have you worn one? Malfunction risk?

I have been on the medtronic pump for over a year now and love it. However, in the back of my mind I always worry about pump malfunction- delivering too much insulin specifically. Is this a legitamate fear or am I overthinking it? How long have you worn a pump? Have you ever had your pump malfunction? Just curious...

Good morning, Lil Mama. I have been pumping since 2007: MiniMed 522 and now 523 (with Dr. Koch). I have had a couple of motor alarms and numerous non-delivery alarms, but my two pumps have never delivered too much insulin. I guess with any high-tech device there is always a possiblity of failure but I would expect there are multiple safeguards designed into the pump to minimize the risk of such a possibility. Not to worry ....

So the pump does alert you when its not delivering?

Oh, yes! I have mine set to vibrate (I don't hear the tones). It begins with a series of 5 or 6 strong vibrations and escalates from there until I acknowledge it.

I've had my MM522 for over 5 years, and had one malfunction. I was caught outside in a rainstorm, and it got wet. I had a small crack in my ACT button, and it quit working. Fortunately, it was still under warranty (it no longer is), and MM sent me a new pump next day.

I've never heard of anyone using a MM pump getting too much insulin...and I see literally thousands of posts from MM users (I'm a moderator on another forum where we just talk about pumps).


I've had my Minimed for over a year and the only "failure" I have got was an unable to deliver failure and that was ONLY when I first started pumping and wasn't inserting my infusion set in correctly...talked with Minimed and they gave me some suggestion and no problem since then.

P.S. The pump definately alarms with failure to deliver.

My experience with pump malfunctions is consistent with the previous comments here. I've been wearing insulin pumps since 1987. I started with MiniMed (don't remember all the model numbers) and switched to the Animas Ping in 2008. In July I tried the OmniPod but just switched back to the Ping.

I've experienced a variety of pump malfunctions but none of them resulted in uncommanded over delivery. Under delivery is the most common failure mode, often caused by infusion set leakage or a bent cannula. And sometimes that was not the fault of the pump but the result of a site going bad. Given that performance, if you're worried about pump safety and performance, the best thing you could do is test, test, test -- early and often! I also use a CGM but I still fingerstick more than a dozen times per day.

If I had to manage a young child's T1D, I would definitely use a pump.

Yes, it has happened and pump manufacturers are required to report over delivery malfunctions to the FDA. Depending on the severity of the problem, the FDA can then negotiate remedial actions with the manufacturer (recalls for example). There's probably a way to see what manufacturers have reported to the FDA on the FDA website(?)

Having said that, it is extremely rare and all pumps that I am aware of have safety functions built-in to prevent over delivery. As Gerry said, any high-tech device can have failures; just another reason to perform frequent testing. My own experience has been that it is a non-issue (pumping since 1999).

I've had Medtronic pumps since 2008, no malfunctions.

10 years on and off only with MM. Part of the reason I stick with Minimed is because of the reliability of their devices. I only had one serious issue with an occlusion years ago where the occlusion alarm didn't sound.

The FDA tracks self-reported incidents of device malfunctions. In general, the issues associated with insulin pumps is very, very low. Yes, malfunctions do happen. It is a device and it can break or be damaged. There's also the element of user error.

The best way to mitigate the risks associated with a potential malfunction is to test, test, test. That is one reason why the device manufacturers are so insistent on you consistently testing. This way, you're apt to catch any issues before they become serious.

I think non-delivery issues are the most common with pumps. Situations in which the pumps deliver too much insulin are rare. To be safe, I keep my pump away from any x-ray machines, as there is the possibility that they could damage the pump and cause it to malfunction.