Medtronic’s MiniMed insulin pumps were intended to improve the quality of life for diabetics who are dependent upon insulin. They were designed to deliver insulin, in place of daily injections. Unfortunately, some Medtronic patients may have experienced insulin overdose caused by failure of the MiniMed Infusion set.
Insulin overdose may result in a life-threatening episode of hypoglycemia. In some cases, it can be difficult to tell when a pump or infusion set is malfunctioning until symptoms become severe.
Because of the risk of infusion set failure, in September of 2017, Medtronic issued a voluntary recall of its MiniMed Infusion pump sets.
What Should I Know about the Medtronic Insulin Pump Recall?
Medtronic insulin pumps have been subject to a number of safety notices in the past, but the most recent recall involves the MiniMed Infusion Set used for the insulin pump. The recall, issued in September 2017, involves MiniMed Infusion sets manufactured prior to April 2017.
In order to deliver insulin, Medtronic pumps require the periodic replacement of the MiniMed infusion set. Multiple insulin overdose events have occurred shortly after a new MiniMed Infusion Set was installed on a Medtronic insulin pump. These overdose events have been linked to a potential blockage which occurs during the priming process that must be performed during a set change. If the infusion set membrane becomes blocked, the insulin pump may deliver too much insulin which may cause hypoglycemia.
Medtronic Insulin Pump users are advised to check their pump model number and compare lot numbers of MiniMed Infusion sets in their possession using the company’s website tool at https://checklots.medtronicdiabetes.com.
Infusion sets manufactured prior to April 2017 should not be used.
Though Medtronic has stated that the infusion sets were redesigned, they cannot guarantee that overdose of insulin or another malfunction will not occur. Patients who receive too much insulin may be subject to severe or life-threatening hypoglycemia.
Symptoms of hypoglycemia include:
- Rapid or Irregular heartbeat
- Trembling or shaking
An overdose of insulin can be fatal. Symptoms of hypoglycemia should be treated immediately Seek medical attention for any suspected problems with a Medtronic pump.
Are Insulin Pumps Safe?
Many diabetics have benefited from the use of an insulin pump. Insulin pumps can improve the quality of life for patients who rely on daily administration of insulin. When they function properly, insulin pump use may be safer than manual administration.
Advantages of using a pump include:
- Greater convenience
- Better disease management
- Predictable and precise insulin delivery
- Reducing episodes of hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia
- Stabilizing blood sugar
Despite the advantages of using an insulin pump, doing so comes with some risk. Even when used as intended, disadvantages of insulin pump therapy may include:
- Risk of skin infections related to catheter
- Risk of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)
- Expense of pump
- Required infusion set changes
- Frequent blood sugar checks may be required
- Public disclosure / visibility of pump
Patients considering insulin pump therapy should discuss the risks and benefits with their physician. Both doctor and patient or caregiver must be familiar with pump technology and comfortable using the equipment to effectively improve disease management.
Do I Have a Medtronic Insulin Pump Lawsuit?
If you’ve experienced insulin overdose, hypoglycemia or other problems with your Medtronic insulin pump and MiniMed Infusion Set, you might be eligible to take legal action. For more information or to speak to someone about your situation, contact us.