An insulin pump is a battery-operated medical device that is worn by those with diabetes mellitus. It is a little bigger then a pager and delivers insulin through a catheter placed just under the skin. It provides insulin as needed and eliminates the need for standard injections. This makes them a convenient and effective treatment for those with diabetes.
Defective insulin pumps can cause a diabetic patient to receive either too much or too little insulin. This puts the diabetic patients at risk of serious injury, including:
•    Stroke
•    Blood clots
•    Heart attack
•    Kidney damage/failure
•    Arrhythmia — irregular heartbeats
•    Hypoglycemia — a dangerous and potentialy fatal drop in blood glucose levels
•    Hyperglycemia — elevated blood glucose level
•    Diabetic ketoacidosis – a condition that may occur when the pump administers too much insulin.
•    Diabetic coma—both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia can lead to diabetic coma
•    Death
More than 200 diabetics have been hospitalized due to insulin pump malfunctions. Malfunctions often occur when the cannula (tubing) bends and interrupts the steady flow of insulin to the body or when the cannula disconnects  from the skin or the pump and stops the insulin flow. 
Other insulin pump malfunctions have occurred because of manufacturer defects. 
In 2009, approximately 60,000 Paradigm Quick-Set Infusion Sets, small disposable devices used with the MiniMed Insulin Pump, were recalled because they were defective. Medtronic, the manufacturers of the MiniMed Insulin Pump, issued a voluntary nationwide recall ; however, a number of persons using the pumps had already been hospitalized.
Also in 2009, Accu-Check Spirit insulin pumps with serial numbers in the range from SN02119552 through SN10006093 were found to have a possible defect in the “up” and/or “down” buttons that could cause them to fail after being used.
In 2008, Animas Corporation issued a nationwide recall of battery caps used with the Animas OneTouch Ping System, Animas 2020 Insulin Pump, Animas IR1200 Insulin Pump, and Animas IR1250 Insulin Pump. The pumps were recalled because there an intermittent loss of contact between the battery cap and the battery compartment in the pump could result in the device resetting. The resetting could cause the device to stop administering insulin, which could result in an excess level of glucose in the blood (hyperglycemia) and could also lead  to errors in future doses, resulting  in a lower than normal level of glucose in the blood (hypoglycemia).

Have You Or A Loved One Been Injured By A Defective Medical Device?

If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective medical device you need to speak with an experienced defective medical device attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.

James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.