My recommendation? Demand a new pump from Medtronic if you have battery problems

The saga with my Minimed 722 continues....

I went to bed late on Tuesday night (around midnight), checked my bg, and all was well. About 12:30am, just when I was falling asleep, my pump sent me an alarm. I got up to check it out, and saw that it was alarming because of a low battery. Since they always teach you to NEVER go to bed with a low battery alarm, I got up to change it. When I tried to put in a new battery, the pump stopped working altogether-- the screen was blank, and it acted like it didn't even sense the battery! I tried another new battery. And another. Nothing! I put in the old battery, and it did recognize that one, but said that it was out of power, and went into an alarm state (with the little filled-in circle and a battery icon that was empty).

I called Medtronic and demanded that they send me a new pump. They first made me try another new battery AGAIN, and the same thing happened. Finally, the rep put me on hold and got on the phone with FedEx to arrange for overnight shipment of a new pump from Memphis.

The rep was very nice, and I was very professional and even-toned, but I told her that I was disappointed in Medtronic for not sending me a new pump after this happened the first time, and told her that I thought perhaps Medtronic should take extra steps to ensure that the pump always senses and can connect with its external battery. She didn't know too much about that, and just repeated herself, saying that Medtronic's engineers helped establish the protocol for responding to the types of calls that involve batteries, and that the previous reps I had talked to on the phone followed the appropriate protocol when they merely sent me two new battery caps and a new case! I wasn't rude to her, but I told her that Medtronic should change the protocol and replace the pump when a patient calls in with the problems I was having. I told her that this was the second night in a 2-week period that I had to stay up throughout the night and fight high bg's with shots of Humalog. She apologized for my "inconvenience," and suggested that I call my doctor (it's almost 1am by now, mind you) if necessary to come up with an alternate plan, and, if needed, that I go to my local ER! I told her that I appreciated her suggestions, but that people like her, the other Medtronic reps with whom I had spoken, and the engineers at Medtronic, clearly had no idea what it was like to have T1 and rely so heavily on a mechanism that is subject to failure. I told her that, given this almost exclusive reliance, Medtronic should make their products as fail-proof as possible. Since I have had this battery problem for the past 3 weeks, and since I had the A33 problem with priming earlier this year, I told her that I was no longer confident in the quality of Medtronic's products. I asked her to pass along that feedback, and, if my call was recorded, to consider passing along the recording to the powers-that-be at Medtronic. I doubt that will happen, but boy, am I disappointed in Medtronic.

I am NOT a crybaby, but I was so tired and frustrated, and upset at the prospect of getting up throughout the night, that I just had a little 5-minute pity party after I hung up the phone. I only got a few hours of sleep Tuesday night, and went to work late on Wednesday because I had to wait at my house to receive the new pump, which arrived a little after 10am. I did have a high bg a little after 4am, and had to take more Humalog via injection. I had taken a shot before I went to bed, but I guess I should have gotten up at 3am and taken another, instead of 4am. After that, I was fine-- between 70 and 90 for the morning, because I took another few injections in the morning before my new pump arrived, to cover breakfast and my "background" insulin requirements.

I am crossing my fingers that I will not have ANY problems with my new 722. If you have a 722 and have these types of battery problems, I recommend demanding a new pump right away!!

HI Katie - so sorry you had to go through that… it sounds like a really frustrating ride. I have had my 722 for a year now, and I also design machines for a living so I guess I know what it’s like being on BOTH sides of that kind of phone call… All I know is I keep syringes and a bottle of Lantus, and a box of new batteries in my desk, and I know a couple of A33 error tricks and that’s about all… good luck in the future and I hope the new pump is a keeper.

I have had similar problems. One time the cap on my 515 broke apart. I was able to stuff that end of the battery conection in with tissue and duct tape it to continue having it work until the new pump got there. When I was on the phone with Minimed they wanted to just send a new cap, I had to tell them to send a new pump. What they didn’t know is that the cap broke because the threads in that area were stripped out. The next time the case got cracked right at the threads and skin cells were leaking into that area. The cells eventually screwed up the connection and I had to deal with a pump that worked off and on for a day til the new one came. At least that time there was no question about sending a new pump.