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Re: [IP] Problems with syringes

John Neale wrote:

>I've been having a similar run of No Delivery problems this last week or
>two. I've not had this trouble for ages. My immediate response now is to
>disconnect at the QR and bolus 5 units, and often the alarm re-occurs.
>If I disconnect at the syringe itself the alarm can still re-occur, so
>it's the syringe or pump and not the tubing or cannula. At least this
>saves an unnecessary set change. If I replace the syringe but keep
>everything else the problem is solved. I typically re-use the syringe 3
>or 4 times to save money, but now I'm replacing it every time. I've no
>idea why the syringes should suddenly get temperamemtal when I've had no
>trouble previously. Is it perhaps hot weather causing different
>expansion in the components?

I had this problem quite often back in 1996 and early 1997. I sent many
(read that as lots of them) syringes back to MiniMed for replacement. There
were others at that time who reported similar problems. There were specific
lot numbers identified by MM for replacement. The number of complaints
seemed to drop somewhat, but every so often, they crop up again. Back when
I reported the problem, MiniMed's suggested remedy was to pull the
reservoir plunger back and forth twice, *NO MORE THAN TWICE*, before
filling the syringe. They were quite emphatic about not doing this more
than twice. They indicated they would include this information in future
updates to their product manuals, but I don't know if they've done so. It
seems the recommendation now is to also rotate the plunger prior to drawing
it back and forth.
>I remain suspicious that Minimed might be reducing the lubricant to a
>bare minimum to force us not to reuse them, but I have no proof of this.
>Bear in mind MM make most of their profits from the sale of infusion
>sets and syringes, rather than the pumps themselves. Or have they
>reduced the quality control?

MiniMed has stated numerous times that they don't recommend refilling
reservoirs. It makes sense that the lubricant can break down, and since
every one uses different amounts of insulin, it wouldn't be safe to
recommend any more than single use. It is also viewed as a potential for
infection. There are many users who refill reservoirs, though, who have not
had problems.

Though I get extremely cynical at times, I seriously doubt MiniMed is
deliberately minimizing the amount of lube in the reservoirs to force you
to replenish them sooner. They have cited a number of reasons for these
difficulties. One of the most recent rumored "causes", which someone on the
list heard from their MM rep, involved a large fire near the reservoir
manufacturing facility. Supposedly the smoke and soot in the air was
causing problems. This was recent - I don't know what caused the earlier

My feeling is that it's a design issue. Not Only Does Your Mileage Vary,
But So Does Your Luck . Or as they say - NODYMVBSDYL <vbg>

>What do other people do when the ND alarm goes off at 4am? I find I'm in
>no mood to respond properly when being woking at that hour. I tend to
>stop the pump, check my bg, give myself perhaps 3 units of Regular by
>needle and go straight back to sleep. I wait till morning to investigate
>everything properly. So far this non-standard strategy has served me
>very well. I like to keep Regular rather than Humalog for emergencies
>like this, because of its longer gentler action.
That "non-standard" strategy is actually pretty smart, if you ask me. If
there is a suspicion that the pump is acting improperly, it makes sense to
suspend it, inject manually to make up for any missed insulin, then attack
the problem when you are more capable.

Bob Burnett

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