The Medtronic insulin pump is a medical device that makes it easier and more convenient to receive a daily dose of insulin. It consists of a small box about the size of a cell phone which can be kept in the pocket or worn on a belt. The pump delivers insulin through an infusion set which is connected to a cannula placed under the skin of the abdomen.
In addition to making insulin administration more convenient, the Medtronic MiniMed insulin pump system provides a continuous supply of insulin which is intended to closely match the function of a healthy pancreas. The pump can also deliver on-demand or preprogramed boluses of insulin based on diet and blood sugar demands.
Diabetes and Insulin
In a person with a healthy pancreas, the body naturally produces insulin to utilize sugar absorbed in the diet and maintain energy levels. In people with diabetes, this system does not function correctly.
In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas cannot make insulin and replacement therapy must be used. Type 2 diabetics may be able to secrete insulin, but the body does not respond to it as it should. They may be unable to make enough, or body cells have become resistant. In some cases, diet and medications may be sufficient to control blood sugar but in other cases, insulin therapy may be required.
When a diabetic is insulin dependent, he or she must supply the body with insulin from an outside source – usually an injection. For patients who use insulin injections, sometimes multiple daily injections are required to control blood sugar. The pump has replaced the needs for many people, providing a more convenient and hygienic method for insulin administration. Unfortunately, some Medtronic insulin pump users have experienced insulin overdose due to a problem with the MiniMed infusion set.
Though insulin is needed for the body to process glucose and maintain energy, too much of it may cause hypoglycemia.
Symptoms of hypoglycemia caused by insulin overdose may include:
- Severe headache
- Increased/rapid heartbeat
- Tremors, anxiety
- Uncontrolled sweating
- Seizures or fainting
- Loss of consciousness
In severe cases, if left untreated, hypoglycemia may cause death.
Any symptoms of insulin overdose or hypoglycemia should be treated as a medical emergency. Insulin pump users who suspect their pump has malfunctioned should seek also medical assistance immediately.
Was there a Recall of the Medtronic Insulin Pump?
Medtronic announced a voluntary recall of MiniMed infusion sets used for its insulin pumps in September 2017. The pump has been the subject of prior recalls but the latest notice is related to a malfunction with the infusion set used for insulin delivery.
The faulty infusion sets, manufactured prior to April 2017, have been identified as a potential cause for an increased risk of insulin overdose. The overdose may occur due to a blockage which develops during the priming process.
The company has encouraged Medtronic MiniMed Infusion set users to check their pump model and compare infusion set lot numbers, using the website https://checklots.medtronicdiabetes.com to ensure that they are only using infusion sets manufactured after April 2017 for required, periodic replacements.
Do I Have a Medtronic Insulin Pump Lawsuit?
Medtronic MiniMed users who were injured or made ill by their use of faulty infusion sets have already filed lawsuits against the company. In some cases, an overdose of insulin can be fatal.
People who were harmed or who may have lost loved ones are seeking compensation for their injuries. The problems caused by medical device malfunctions can result in expensive medical bills and lost wages, as well as pain and suffering.
Victims of Medtronic MiniMed infusion set or insulin pump malfunctions may be entitled to compensation for:
- Physical pain
- Emotional trauma
- Medical/treatment costs
- Funeral/burial expenses
- Cost of living in cases involving permanent disabilities
- Lost economic and social support in wrongful death cases
- Medtronic Infusion Set Recall
If you’d like to learn more or you believe you might be eligible for compensation because of problems with your Medtronic MiniMed insulin pump infusion set, contact us.