I want to be the Ralph Nader of Diabetics!

The story about Steven Krueger who died 3 years ago due to malfunction of his Medtronic pump (MMT-511) - has disturbed me greatly. To the point that my mind is in overdrive trying to figure things out (darn frustrating I'll tell you - can't hold a normal conversation with my sweetie pie). Very shocking statement from a friend of Steven's came to my attention yesterday - that left me reeling in disbelief - to the point that I skipped a visit to Ottawa today - in order to do more research - and to write up the blog that you'll find posted at Diabetes1.org.

Not my unusual light hearted banter - but I felt I needed to get it off my chest - as I feel Steven Krueger and his family/friends have the same feelings as I have and perhaps you do as well!!!

UPDATE: I have heard from Steven's parents - as they have been told of my writings here at Tudiabetes. I feel very honored to be helping them out in their search for their answers to their sons death. Steven's pump malfunctioned by going into prime mode, but instead of dispensing just a few drops, it dispensed the entire cartridge of insulin! So much information to share with you to help bring this out into the open. I will try to share his Mum's words and mine together to bring this to light.

Views: 46

Tags: Animas, Canada, Health, Krueger, MMT-511, Medtronic, Steven, hypo, insulin, malfunction, More…pump

Comment by Katie Zeller on August 29, 2009 at 10:03am
That is absolutley terrifying!
Comment by Laura S. on August 29, 2009 at 10:53am
The Animas has a function that when you set it, will not allow more than X amount of units to be delivered every day. (Maximum Bolus, Maximum Basal).
It also requires you, to ok a move before you make it.
There used to be a huge movement of diabetics who swore that the newer insulins were putting them into hypo unawareness and they were going to end up dead in bed. I had one of them actually call me and talk me into telling a law firm what great problems I had suffered because I took Humalog (I didnt have any problems).
I think for any and all of this, accidents are rare and not to be worried about so very much.
The pump is a great device, but still a device and it requires folks to check their bg and be aware and alert.
I'm much more concerned with the idea of a closed loop system, which so many people are so keen on (and Minimed reports to be working on). That, in my opinion, is giving more power to the little device than we probably should be giving.
And just one other thing, there are people who have been pumping since pumps were the size of large VCR tapes, and they are still living and breathing.
Ya gotta take these stories with a grain of salt, I think.
Comment by Gerri on August 29, 2009 at 1:20pm
What was the shocking statement from Steven's friend?

We need a Ralph Nader--accurate meters, anyone?
Comment by FatCatAnna on August 29, 2009 at 4:23pm
Sorry Gerri - I'm new to doing the hyperlink stuff in posting (how I got the job is beyond me - I told them I was Internet useless) - anyway - have posted the link on your page - and also to those of you who may have clicked on the link in my blog - it's been corrected. Like I said to Gerri - you can teach an old dog new tricks - I'm just an over excited emotional dog today - so was abit fast with the linking up!
Comment by FatCatAnna on August 29, 2009 at 4:30pm
Also, since I have been speaking to some other diabetics who use the Medtronic pumps - I've adjusted my maximum bolus rate to 4 units. I very rarely go over that amount for meals/corrections. I have it set at 6 units before. If my pump decided to be like Hal from 2001 then I'd not be in great shape i
Comment by Mike Ratrie on August 29, 2009 at 4:46pm
FOX report on US FDA and pump deaths

See if this works, my last post got mangled
Comment by FatCatAnna on August 29, 2009 at 4:49pm
Hi Laura - I realise that what has occurred to a few people over the years (infants have died due to mothers overdosing on insulin pumps due to no fault of their own) is a rare occurance. It's just the stance that Medtronic has taken in not wanting to do further investigations of a product that they sell to we, the consumer.

I think with what has happened this past summer with the infusion sets - has made some people either a) rethink being on a pump; or b) going to another pump manufacturer. I am a person that doesn't tend to panic at things like this - tho' you might think otherwise with how I am writing here - but far from it. Just perhaps if pump manufacturers - and I'm not just pinpointing Medtronic - but any pump manufacturer had a pump that had caused problems for the users you would expect it be be further investigated - no?

I'm like you on the closed loop system - went to a JDRF meeting in the Spring time - and the head of the team that is doing research on this - and also a pump user - seemed to think it was the best thing since sliced bread - but many things to work out before that comes into reality. I'm like many pump users - I prefer to be the brains behind the pump - just when a programming error occurs - or whatever happened in Steven's case to cause his death - leads a few of us to question why it happened. If Medtronic could at least answer that question - I'm sure it would make some of us - Steven's parents included - satisfied with explainable/logical answer.

Oh - and I've seen what the original pump looked like - I would have developed the Hunchback of Notre Dams posture after wearing that one. Someone had posted a picture of the original pump on a forum group I belong to - and it's quite something else!
Comment by Betty J on August 29, 2009 at 6:14pm
I remember when MM had the 511 and seems like shortly thereafter they brought out the 512. It seems like there was something about the 511 that was never revealed...umm. I had the 512 and now have the 522. With D we are always in peril from whatever.
Comment by Laura S. on August 29, 2009 at 6:36pm
One thing I do think, that is we need to remember how to get along with a syringe if we have to.
However, insulin isnt cheap and having extras around the house, like Lantus, has not been something I have considered.
I personally dont like MM anyway, having had nothing but financial mistakes from them the whole time I owned their pump (back in 2000).
Btw, I ordered the sample kit from the new Omnipod competition today, so we'll see what that looks like.
I expect all the pumps will be going tubeless one day?
Have a wonderful rest of the weekend.

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