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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.
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
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.
The MiniMed pumps are not waterproof - only splashproof.
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.
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.
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.
Some people find it fiddly getting the insulin cartridge in and out with the detachable belt clip still in place.
With the 508's remote control, you can only give boluses in 0.5 or 1 unit increments.
By the time the no delivery alarm is activated, several units of insulin can have been already not delivered.
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Disetronic originally claimed the H-TRON was waterproof, but this guarantee was withdrawn in March 2001 after a handful of incidents where the pump went wrong after getting wet.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.
Temporary basal rates have to be set in percentage increase or decrease, rather than in absolute units.
This pump has only recently become available in the UK. Initial complaints are that the pump is larger than the H-TRON.
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.
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 ]
On 2 Apr 2004 Bart Derks wrote:
My supplier doesn't always have batteries for my Disetronic D-tron pump. Why isn't it possible to make rechargable batteries for insulin pumps ???
Ok, after recharging 'm they won't work as long as the lithium-battery but... with 1-2 spare batteries and a recharging unit I'll _never_ have to fear that my pump won't work. Besides... it's a lot cheaper!
On 9 Dec 2001 Silvia wrote:
I use the the Disetronic D-Tron with Humalog. This pump is the first one where you can use the pencartridge in the pump but Disetronic has problems with the rubber in the cartridge. This piece of rubber is very firmly plugged into the cartridge, and the threaded bolt sometimes cannot push the insulin into the catheter and into the body. After a couple of hours, mainly nighttime, 4.00 am or so, the pump alarm (E4) goes off and you cannot stop it. And, of course your bg is 300-400mg/dl.
I hope both Lilly and Disetronic will solve this problem.
Something else I dislike is the button for the bolus. On the H-Tron there are two raised bottons for a bolus. Those are better than the buttons on the D-Tron where the buttons are flat. Also, the pump is too long and bulky and I cannot stick the pump in my bra!
I am 40 years old, married, lactovegetarian and live in the Salzkammergut, in Bad Aussee, Austria.
On 3 Jun 2001 Allan Bennett wrote:
I've recently aquired a 508 and am currently undertaking the initial week's training course.
So far I've noticed that the bolus values previously entered can be reviewed, but not re-used. For instance, if I recall a previous bolus of 5.0 units and now require the same value, I have to enter the value again which requires 50 increments from zero.
However, I may have found an alternative. If I set the Maximum bolus to 5.5 then, on the bolus screen, press the down button the display reads the maximum, i.e. 5.5. It's then a short trip to 5.0.
I don't know how this will work in practice because I'm still pumping water - but I'll let you know.