Medtronic Pump Error - Motor Error

I was riding my bike this evening and got an unfortunate alarm. MOTOR ERROR and the pump had stopped (Medtronic 723 Paradigm). I escaped the alarm, disconnected and primed the pump (and pump seamed to be working fine). Rode home and called medtronic. They had me go through a few tests and determined that the pump was operable (self test, rewind all the way and prime all the way to the end without a resivor). Medtronic had me change my infusion set (boo! only 1 day old) to rule out an occlusion. They also said if I get a motor error alert in the next 30 days that I get a new pump. Having my pump malfunction is an unsettling experience. The adrenaline hormones that I released from the fear of no (or lack of) insulin has shot my BG up to 220ish. After a bike ride this never happens. Everything seems to be working just fine currently.

My question is has anyone else experienced this error? Should I be concerned of more malfunctions? Is my pump OK?

I haven’t had a motor error. I had one freaky situation where I’d just ordered a SICK breakfast, hash browns, eggs, biscuits & gravy, etc. and did the boluszilla and got an error message after it pumped about .5U and crapped out. I pumped about 20 separate .5U boluses to get the whole amt in, just recalculating it all the time, since there was IOB, eventually it caught up? I have a 722 though so I dunno how a 723 might be different?

You’re so right – it is extremely unsettling to get a motor error. I have had two of them over a four and a half year period with the Minimed 522. Similar outcome: Medtronic had me do some tests and told me they would replace if it happened again in a 30-day period. It hasn’t. My pump is gong on five years now, and I’m hoping Medicare will let me replace it next year.

I guess we’re a lot better off with a motor error than a reservoir dump (the opposite extreme)!


Thanks for helping to settle my nerves Gerry. I do agree that a motor error could be better than the alternative of an unknown bolus. I am glad to hear that your medtronic pump is still working well and it may just be a one time thing.

I’m almost afraid to ask this question Gerry, but when you mentioned reservoir dump…did you mean that it empties the contents into your body all at once? :frowning: I have only heard rumors of this, never actually met someone that it happened to.

It’s never happened to me, either. There have been very few incidents of this reported. Someone died a few years ago from this – you can search these forums for particulars.

I think I may have had a motor error once (I should remember if that was the error, but I don’t) when I was trying to start a new reservoir. Sometimes, if the tubing isn’t screwed on and locked on the reservoir properly, the plunger (used when setting up a new set) can’t push insulin out of the reservoir since the needle hasn’t penetrated the rubber tip. Same thing if you try to prime with the motor. That might result in such an error. I also had a bad reservoir once, where I just couldn’t lock the tubing onto the reservoir no matter how hard I tried. (I’ve also had the tips of some reservoirs slightly bent, which makes it tough to connect the tubing).

You could verify that this is the error caused by trying to prime a reservoir that has no tubing attached.

It seems that Medtronic quietly redesigned their reservoirs recently - for the better. The tip of the old used to be clear, the newer ones are more of an opaque white. I seem to have a much easier time locking the tubing onto the new design.

I’d guess you probably had more of a problem with the reservoir than you did with the pump itself. Perhaps the tube caused the point of connection to turn or bend. Other than the pain-in-the-butt of changing a 1-day-old infusion set, you could probably talk Medtronic into sending you a free set/reservoir (or a set of each!) to replace the faulty one if the cost is an issue to you.

Not a bad idea on the free/replacement medical equipment. I wish I would of asked. Now that you mention it, it makes sense that the resivoir could have gotten stuck somehow and caused the problem.

When I got the pump in January the CDE mentioned that they had redesigned the cap to the tubing that attaches to the resivour. She stated that too many users were breaking them. Maybe people were breaking the caps trying to get the resivour into the pump.

Pump has been working great since the motor error, so I agree that it appears that the motor error is likely just a small inconvience.

Update: Yesterday (Sunday) morning at the end of my breakfast bolus my pump malfunctioned again (motor error). I spoke with a medtronic rep and should receive a “newley refurbished pump” in the mail today.

So the pump lasted 4.5 days before it malfunctioned again. I am glad that medtronic will supply me with a newly refurbished replacement, but it is still quite concerning to have my pump malfunction.

By the way, I asked about newly refurbished and the medtronic rep’s response was that “these pumps have updated software installed and go through something like a 23 point inspection” before they are re-issued. I just hope it isn’t like used cars where I am inheriting someone elses problem.

Hmm… well I hope it didn’t mess up your BG or your overall health when it malfunctioned again. And I hope your new pump arrives quickly (before your old one hits ‘strike 3’) and it’s easy to set up. Unfortunately, there’s no way to copy all of your settings (ratios, basals) from one to the other. Don’t forget to ask them to throw in some extra infusion sets and reservoirs!

I’d also pester them for feedback on what happens when they analyze your old pump; whether any faults are found or if it just goes into the “newly refurbished” pile.

I was just upset when my pump malfunctioned this time and had no adrenaline or hormone release so my control has been great. I just cleared the alarm rewound the pump and primed it and the pump has not misfired since. The medtronic rep told me that I “had” to go back on MDI since the pump has been dubbed faulty. I decided that there was no reason to switch from the pump back to injections for 36 hours-ish and have gone AWOL and am using the pump.

They will have me mail back the broken pump in packaging arriving with the new pump. So that I can copy all the info from the old pump to the new one and I think the medtronic carelink provides all that data too if you look hard enough.

I forgot to ask about replacement resivours and infusion sets! darn! Free diabetic supplies are almost as good as free food. I also did not ask for updates on the broken pumps status. I will ask whenever I speak with medtonic again, but do not expect an answer.

Now for the important questions - I have to start thinking of names for the new pump.

I had a 2nd Motor error yesterday and 1 last month (both within 30 days of each other). Medtronics ran some tests and the pump checks out but they are replacing it anyway if you wish when you have to failures within 30 Days.

Over the years I’ve had a couple of MM pumps replaced over motor errors. I think the company was great at getting the pumps out right away. The only issue was having to control bs with fast acting insulin with shots until the new pump arrived! That was not fun!! This last time ( a couple months ago) I got my endo to give me a better regimen. You might want to have a plan in case the pump fails again. I also switched to Ping because I had just started using the Dexcom cmg. Not sure how their pump/customer service is over the long haul…good luck!

this just happened to me!I am freaking out because my BG read 557 and I am not feeling well :(

It happened to me pretty recently. I was changing my tank. For a quick fix to correct, you might have a shot in our leg and walk around the block to make it work faster or something like that. On mine, I put a new tank on, or maybe a new tube, and redid it and it seemed to work fine so I didn't bother calling them. If you call them, you may get a new pump out of it but for an immediate fix, I'd try a new resevoir and make sure everything is hooked up correctly? Mine has worked fine since then.

You need to give yourself some insulin with a syringe, if you are nauseated (Vomiting)and or having trouble breathing have someone take you to the ER...or call 911. I had a motor error two weeks ago on a two week old pump, failed and only gave me a small part of a meal bolus and then suspended operation and was waiting for me to respond by rewinding the pump I went for about 7 hours without enough insulin to cover my meal and no basal..500+ BG with ketones. They replaced my pump. but I'm still PO ed over what happened...this is my forth X23 pump since the Revel was released second motor issue and this one was not a re-certified pump. They accused me of taking it through Xray or a strong magnetic field.If this happened to the pump it happened while it was on it's way to me from the factory.