More interesting facts on Steven Kruegers death due to MMT-511 malfunction

I posted a blog on the w/e about Steven Krueger after coming across a news article that moved me quite emotionally. Since writing that blog - the family of Steven Krueger has come to me for help in trying to spread the word about Steven. Steven's death resulted in his pump going into PRIME function during his sleep - emptying out the WHOLE cartridge of insulin. Health Canada after investigating the pump stated his death was due to pump malfunction along with some other interesting facts (these cannot be disclosed at this point in time). Medtronics "had" agreed to do further investigations - stating that the pump case would have to be destroyed in order to do any testing. The pump left the coroners office in B.C., Canada - intact (pictures were taken prior to being sent off) - but a week later - Medtronic sent back the pump stating that the case was cracked - therefore they could not perform any tests!
This has all been going on over the past 3 years - not easy due to the two countries involved with our legal systems not being the same - very disheartening and frustrating to say the least - when the information that has been gathered could be of value to the public! The way things stand now - is Health Canada is hopefully going to do the further testing - and the final report can be written - but it will take time as we all can see from how it has gone so far.

The questions that have gone thru' my mind have been boggling (too many to list here - and I'm sure those that respond to this will have the same questions popping thru' their mind). The Krueger family doesn't want to any monetary reimbursement to the loss of their son - as some American friends seem to think - far from it - they just want closure - to know why the pump failed the way it did on Steven - and to hopefully prevent this from ever happening again.

Several other incidents causing patients' low blood sugar levels and three deaths have been reported of patients using this pump but again the pumps were never returned to the manufacturer for further investigation. As we all know mechanical devices fail at some time, however, they should fail in a safe mode rather than a lethal mode. It's just that if a car or plane crash was caused by a malfunction - then the manufacturer would follow up with an investigation so that they could pin point what caused it and warn the public - or rectify the situation so it wouldn't. Am I being naive here to think that companies think first about the cost of human life instead of profits and their stock holders?

I wonder if your pump manufacturer would do the same thing - and not follow up with an investigation (have already sent a letter to them asking them this question).

UPDATE: For additional discussion on this subject - please go to Christopher Frankie's discussion at this link.

Tags: MMT-511, death, insulin, malfunction, prime, pump

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I think you also have to consider this from the other side.. if you experienced a similar pump failure that resulted in significant injury or death, would you automatically hand the pump over to the company responsible? I think that may be why the other cases were never investigated by Medtronic. I know I wouldn't want to give them the only evidence I had. I actually applaud the Kreuger's for just wanting to know what happened, with the hope of preventing it from happening again - not everyone in their position would be so selfless.

As far as Medtronic refusing to evaluate the pump because it was cracked - who are they kidding? If it was under warranty (I am assuming it was?) then wouldn't they still be liable for ANY failure, whether mechanical or structural? If it was, I don't think that should automatically get them off the hook either.
Yes, I am the same way as you. Here in Canada - the goverment first does their investigations - which is what happened in the case of Steven Kruegers pump. The Krueger's would like to have a 3rd party investigation done in order to bring these other "interesting facts" - but Medtronic's legal department back in June of this year (it's taken a long time to bring this story out as you can see) has asked them not to reveal to the public at large. Unfortunately, this is a very expensive procedure to do - to have this type of investigation done. Their hopes now only rest with our own countires investigation to reveal the facts. These reports are public here in Canada - unlike other countries- where they maybe hushed up. It's a long road for them.

Not sure if the pump was still under warranty. Am in the process of finding that out from the parents and other family members. One of the family members is a diabetic like myself - and because of Steven's death - is very hesitant to go onto the pump. I don't blame them at all! I have tried to reassure them - that they are safe - perhaps because of the MMT-511 causing other deaths - despite Medtronic not investigating it themselves - that what happened to Steven is a bizzare fluke and is something that now does not occur of the pumps they have on the market now. Still - to have closure to "what caused it" - is something I don't think I could let go easily.
I really don't think it matters whether the pump was under warranty or not.
I feel that Medtronic is still Liable. I wish the family would seek money
from Medtronic, That's the only way to make them realize the magnitude
of what has happened. I am so fed up with Medtronic, with the infusion recall
and the way they are going about handling it. I can't wait to purchase another
pump and get as far away from Medtronic as possible. They don't give a damn about customers.
My sympathy to the Family, it's very sad.
I experienced a similar issue with my pump but fortunately I was awake, alert, and aware of what happened. My pump gave me 300 units of insulin at one time. I had the Medtronic MiniMed Paradigm Pump.

The pump was only 4 years old, still under Warranty.
I'm wondering the same thing as a few others have said here Angela - obviously you managed to survive pumping 300 units of insulin into you - but wondering what you did. I had someone write me off board telling me what happened to them when their pump emptied its contents into them - they just about emptied the Kwiki Mart near by them of all their sugary food. May sound funny (having Simpson scene going thru' my head) - but not when you seriously do the Thinkers poise and realise how serious it is.
Hi Angela... Were you using a 722 pump , which holds 300 u MAX ? ...or did older pumps have same size reservoir ? I did not know , that 522 and 722 were on the market that long .

I have the same concerns /thoughts as Dave ...what did you do to manage your life, when this happened ??
I have the 815 pump. It holds a Max of 300 U.

My pump is less than 4 years old, still under Warranty.

I was on the phone with MiniMed when I realized what happened. I was fortunately awake, alert, and aware. I called my Endo right away and was prepared for what was coming.

I ate all the glucose tablets I had.

I passed out unconscious.

When the paramedics got to me, by blood sugar was 15.
Sorry MMT-715
I totally agree! In a total separate situation my friends mom was on an internal morphine pump that malfunctioned died. It wasn't giving her her regular bolus's so she went to the hospital to have her pump checked. They reset it but forgot to clear her line. She was tired etc. after a night of horrible back pain (the reason for the pump was fused vertebrae) Needles to say she went to sleep and never woke! Her daughter still has the pump. She was told she didn't have a case worth the cost of a lawyer. She was quite young and believed them. So she grew up through her teens without her mother. I would Never have sent the pump to the company. A third party needed to investigate. Not the ones making millions on selling pumps. I'm sure they want this fixed. It's bad publicity and I don't think all companies are evil empires but, they have an obligation to two different groups of people: investors and those to who they sell there wares. I'm also sure any lawyer would tell them to look out for themselves. It's truly sad for the family that this problem wasn't caught in trials.
I only heard about this case last week, and no matter what caused the pump to malfunction, Medtronic/Minimed is liable for it as the manufacturer. The "cracked" part is right, Minimed is cracked if they believe this excuse is acceptable. They need to find out why this malfunction happened in the first place, rectify the situation, alert all Minimed pump users about this potential problem, and do something to make sure this never happens again. I've had some pump issues over the nearly 11 years I've been on a pump and it scares me. Fortunately, I've been on the other end, no insulin delivered.

Hopefully Minimed will rethink their position and step up to the plate to make this all right. I'm sure the Krueger family is trying to make sure their son didn't die in vain, but hopefully their pressure will help other diabetics on pumps from becoming vistims of a unexplained malfunction.
Cara - this is the main reason for them wanting me to bring this to the attention of everyone - am working on getting it thru' the media here in Canada (never done this sort of thing before - but darnit - am going to try my hardest to help). They just want to help other diabetics on pumps realise what happened to their son - and others (just had a very interesting PM from someone about the same MMT-511 pump basically doing something similar - emptying the whole cartridge into him - BUT HE WAS AWAKE - I'll ask for permission from him before posting his story - very scary nevertheless).

I guess it's being Canadian - no offense to Americans - but we don't tend to be the sue for money type - I don't even think we know how to! Must be the cold climate up here - effects our brains or something. Most Canadians will apologise to someone who has hit them (e.g. walking down a street - and you're elbows bump ). We are generally pretty polite and try to not cause commotion. I am going over and beyond my comfort level here in writing about things like this - but it's giving me a good feeling knowing that I am trying to help out the Krueger family - to bring some sort of closure for them and making people aware (I mean - would my pump company turn a blind eye if something happened with one of their pumps - have sent a letter to them asking this question).

I am in the process of finding a website for getting a petition going - so far have coming across this website - but if any of you know of something better - that may gain more attention - feel free to post it here - or PM me. Again, I'm a newbie here at Tudiabetes - never been really one for posting in forums until I started pumping insulin. In school - used to not get involved in discussions even tho' I wanted to put my point in. I'm better at writing then verbally speaking as you can see (most of the time - except when I type in a hurry like I am here - as I'm supposed to be working on dinner - duh - poor hubby is so understanding with me).
Agreed.

Even if they tried to state that the case was cracked and that might have caused the malfunction......they need to find that out for sure, to warn current pump owners that this a real and potential risk if their pump casing becomes cracked.

I had my pump investigated when it STOPPED giving me insulin. I think they were willing to investigate mine because I didn't die (obviously) and thus didn't have quite as big of a case against them if I chose to try for monetary compensation. (They never figured out why my pump stopped functioning, anyway...)

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