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Re: [IPk] which pump?

>I am still searching for info on pumps for my 16 year old son and would
>welcome some advice from any of you regarding "the best" pump.  Do people
>normally have trials from both manufacturers or do you just have to pick
>one and stick with it?  Are there any features on either type which are
>better/worse or problems which seem to occur more with one make than the

Always a tricky question to answer, as there is so much brand loyalty, and
users will often promote "their pump" - for no other reason than it's the
one they use :-) Pretty stuipid really, but that seems to be how our crazy
world is organised. To help you make the "correct" decision, manufacturers
will even slip you promotional soft toys. Hmmm.

There's no substantial difference between the 2 main manufactures' pumps,
but there are small differences. I think the only true way to decide which
is best for you is to ask to try each for a month, and then make up your
own mind.

I use a MiniMed 507 (the latest model 3 and half years ago when I got it).
Apart from allowing me to control my diabetes well for the first time in 20
years - which is chiefly what I want from it - my criticisms about my pump

* It makes too much noise: you get quite a loud click from the motor every
time it delivers 0.1 units of insulin, so a 5 unit at the quiet dinner
table gives you a click every 3 seconds for 2.5 minutes. If you don't mind
that, fine. But I do mind it. I can't discretely give myself insulin
without the whole table wondering what that clicking noise is.

* A contact in the battery compartment failed once, causing the whole pump
to just stop. No warnings, no alarms. It just stopped as it suddenly had no
electricity at all. Luckily I noticed it when I next got my pump out. I
believe that the one single compartment, rather than 2 compartments, is a
design fault.

If any Disetronic or MiniMed 508 user could publicly state what they *don't
like* about their pump, that would be very very helpful - particularly to
the pump manufacturers! We are incidently hoping to put together a webpage
entitled "What I don't like about my pump" to help people see through the
glowing praise that seems to surround all pump models.

>Are there more problems with the infusion sets with one or the
>other? (bearing in mind we are talking about a very energetic lifestyle
>featuring plenty of sport, swimming etc).

I believe all pump infusion sets work on all insulin pumps. I use
Disetronic Tenders on my MiniMed pump.

>Also can anyone recommend the
>best books to read for info. (I see there are several available.)

Pumping Insulin seems to be the most popular, written in quite simple
language. http://www.insulin-pumpers.org.uk/books/#Pumping_Insulin

>Any help
>much appreciated as my son's diabetic nurse has only a very vague
>knowledge of the subject and another one in the area who I talked to said
>that people should "just get their control right and not bother looking
>for new things all the time".!

I think that is a shocking indictment of that nurse! How are you meant to
get your control right when the amount of insulin released into the blood
from a long acting insulin injection can vary by up to 25% from day to day?
(Ask to see the insulin manufacturers "doctors only" information sheets.)

And pumps are not new: they have been tried in Britain since about 1980
except the current pumps are about 1000 times better than the early pumps.
But for various complex reasons - including of course the expense - NHS
clinics have not been keen on using them. Ideally the staff at your
diabetes clinic, as well as you, need to be experts in pump use (although
the manufactures do provide hotline support) but sadly some clinics don't
have the time, resources or interest. Pity.


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