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Re: [IP] Request information on Animas/MiniMed/DTRON Plus

In a message dated 3/6/2003 6:41:29 AM Pacific Standard Time, 
email @ redacted writes:

> I
> am interested in the following pumps (these are the brands covered by my
> insurance). 
> Animas IR-1000
> MiniMed Paradigm
> Disetronic DTRON Plus
> Truth be told, I am leaning toward the DTRON Plus.
> Any experience you can share on preference for any of these pumps and
> why? Also, any information on pump quality issues or customer support
> issues would be greatly appreciated as well.

Most every pumper will tell you that they prefer the pump that they have -- 
chiefly because that's what they have the most experience with, and also 
because ANY pump is better than shots (IMO).

Almost 2 years ago, we chose the Animas pump for our daughter.  We liked it's 
high watertightness rating (my daughter seems to be half fish sometimes), the 
low basal increment (.05 units per hour increments instead of .10 uph has 
made a noticeable difference for her overnight), multiple basal profiles and 
temp. basals by % (making it easy to adjust for school days, sleepovers, and 
heavy exercise days), the easy to use menu (if you can read, you easily 
figure out how to do what you want without consulting a manual), and the 
overall size, shape & look of the device (aesthetics count!).  We have been 
extremely happy with our choice and have found everyone at Animas (whether 
sales, service or support) to be extremely responsive, knowledgeable, and 
just plain nice to deal with.

If we were pump shopping now, we would still go with Animas.  Here's why:

The new Cozmo from Deltec has many great features, but it's only been in 
general release for a few months -- not enough time to reveal any problems 
with it (should there be any) and not long enough to be able to see what 
Deltec's service and support will be like (a recent IP post about how they 
dealt with someone reporting water inside their pump did not exactly inspire 
confidence in me).   I'm glad to see that a lot of people are getting Cozmos 
-- it does seem like a cool pump and when we're pump shopping again in 
another year and a half or so, these folks will be able to give me the 
real-world data that I want on the pump itself, as well as on Deltec's ttrack 
record for service and support. 

We would not choose the Paradigm because of the small cartridge capacity, the 
short battery life, the requirement to only choose from Minimed's proprietary 
Paradigm-only infusion sets (most pumps use standard leur lock connections so 
you can use any manafacturer's infusion set based on what's best for you), 
and the lack of a clip on the pump itself (there is a little holster thing 
available as well as other options for wearing it, but none my daughter would 

We had an experience just this weekend where Katie's friend who uses a 
Paradigm happened to look down and find her pump was dead -- no alarm or 
warning of any kind -- and it apparently had been off for at least an hour  
(It did work fine after replacing the battery).  There have also been enough 
reports of weird problems with the Paradigm on IP to concern me  -- suddenly 
going dead, issues with static, weird error messages, etc.  In addition, 
during our pump shopping process I (like a number of others have reported 
here) had some distasteful experiences with two different Minimed people (a 
Sales Rep and his Manager).  Given an alternative, I prefer not to deal with 
people who use those kind of tactics.   That said, there are many, many 
Minimed pumpers who are very happy with both their pumps and the service they 
have receive.

The Dtron plus is, I think pretty comparable to Animas in terms of features 
(each having some features that the other doesn't).  My daughter did not like 
the size and look of the Dtron (too much like a medical device, not enough 
like a pager, and too big).   I also don't like the non-standard batteries 
they use (I belive this is still the case with the Dtron Plus).  More than 
once it's come in handy that we could get batteries for Katie's Animas pump 
at any pharmacy, Walmart, etc. (Saved the day for one sleepover and one 
school day when I could get access to the supplies at home). I like that it 
now comes as a two-pump system.  Any electronic/mechanical device can have 
have a problem and it's really great to be able to just hook up a back-up 
pump and not have to go on shots until they can fed-ex you a replacement pump 
(and it sure seems like pumps always seem to have problems on the weekends 
when we're talking more than just one overnight on shots before the new one 
can get there).  

The only concern I'd have has to do with the problem (the pump bolusing on 
it's own) with the originial Dtrons (NOT the DtronPlus) that has lead 
Disetronic to replace all those pumps with Dtron Pluses (at least that's what 
I've heard).  That plus the earlier, similar problem with the Htrons 
(resulting in them removing their watertight rating) would give me a little 
concern over what problem could be lurking with the DtronPlus which haven't 
been out there all that long.  It's not a big concern, since the problem with 
the original Dtrons was designed to be addressed in the Dtron plus, but still 
something to consider.  I don't have any experience with Distronic's customer 
service, but the Sales Rep I talked to when pump shopping was very nice and a 
real professional.

So that's why we'd still pick Animas:  feature-filled, easy to use, the great 
service we've exerienced, and none of the drawbacks we see in the other 
pumps/pump companies.  Now, that said, I must also say that many of the 
things WE see as drawbacks of other pumps (particularly in the area of 
features) is based solely on the my daughter's needs and wants.  What 
features are most important for YOU is something only you can decide.  Also, 
despite any negative judgements I've made above, I would take ANY of these 
pumps for my daughter over shots.  They are all "good" pumps in that they can 
all perform the basic function of the pump: delivering insulin in precise 
amounts and in a far more flexible way than you can achieve with shots.  The 
"BEST" pump is the one that's right for you . . . Good luck!

Pumpmama to Katie (12) happily pumping with her Animas pump "Elvis" since 
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