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What I don't like

What I don't like about my pump...


OK - so you've decided to control your diabetes with an insulin pump. Your clinic has given its approval. Funding is sorted out. Now the tough question: which pump is best?

The good news: all the pumps for sale in the UK are the best. The Medical Devices Agency will not approve a pump if it is not good. Whatever pump you choose, it will work well and you will grow fond of it. Sounds sentimental, but it's true.

In the UK, two firms currently sell pumps: MiniMed and Disetronic. Other firms - including Animas, Sooil and Microjet - make pumps, but do not sell them in the UK at the moment.

We asked members of the Insulin Pumpers UK discussion group to list things that they don't like about their own insulin pump. Don't be alarmed! These are mostly small points, but worth knowing.

MiniMed 506, 507, 507C and 508

  1. Several people complain about the loud clicks that these pumps make. It gives you insulin in bursts of 0.1 units, and with each burst there is a fairly audible click. So a 5 unit bolus gives a click every 3 secs for 2 and half minutes. This can be intrusive in a quiet environment.

  2. The MiniMed pumps are not waterproof - only splashproof.

  3. Pumps are designed to detect when the battery is getting low, and give appropriate warnings. But if the spring contact against the battery gets loose, all power is suddenly lost and the pump stops, giving no warning.

  4. Recent info about boluses etc can be downloaded onto a computer from the 508 and 507C. But users are not allowed to have the software themselves. Only clinics can use it.

  5. Refilling the insulin cartridge can be fiddly, and if it's not done properly there is a risk of air bubbles getting into the system.

  6. Some people find it fiddly getting the insulin cartridge in and out with the detachable belt clip still in place.

  7. With the 508's remote control, you can only give boluses in 0.5 or 1 unit increments.

  8. By the time the no delivery alarm is activated, several units of insulin can have been already not delivered.

  9. On the 507, when pressing keys, it is necessary to look at the pump since the buttons don't have a firm click, and there is a risk that the button press won't register, or will press twice by mistake.

Disetronic H-TRON

  1. Disetronic originally claimed the H-TRON was waterproof, but this guarantee was withdrawn in March 2001 after a handful of incidents where the pump went wrong after getting wet. They suspect water leaked in through tiny cracks in the case.

  2. Temporary basal rates have to be set in percentage increase or decrease, rather than in absolute units.

Disetronic D-TRON

  1. This pump has only recently become available in the UK. Initial complaints are that the pump is larger than the H-TRON.

Your comments

Is there something you don't like about your pump? Let us know - and we may put it on this page. Use the box below.

Also read Richard Oppenheimer's description of his perfect pump.

Compiled by: John Neale <jneale@webshowcase.net> & Diana Maynard <d.maynard@dcs.shef.ac.uk>. Neither John Neale nor Diana Maynard are medical professionals. They both have Type 1 diabetes and both use an insulin pump. The information given here is based on their own personal experiences, and on information supplied by members of the Insulin Pumpers UK discussion group. More about John Neale... More about Diana Maynard...

Created: May 2001; Last updated: Tuesday 5 June 2001

Other pages about pumps

[ Funding issues | Pros and cons of pumping | Diabetes UK on pump therapy | Pumps in the Republic of Ireland | What is an insulin pump? | Just like wearing a yoyo | Not controlled, but in control! | Rewriting the diabetes rulebook | To pump or not to pump? | Pumps in pregnancy | Using the insulin pump during pregnancy | Life on a pump | UK pump news | Which pump? | MiniMed | Disetronic | Animas | Books to help with diabetes | Other pump websites | My pump ]

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