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Tandem Pump Problem

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by MomofSweetOne, Feb 20, 2018.

  1. MomofSweetOne

    MomofSweetOne Approved members

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    My daughter just pulled her pump out of her pocket in response to an alarm....and only the cartridge was at the end of the tubing. No pump. The cartridge had released from the pump by itself. She immediately called Tandem. Apparently, the company has reduced the amount of paint on the pump and they are noticing that the cartridges are loose and "this is more likely to happen occasionally." She told the representative, who was very nice but diabetes-clueless, that if it happened during the night, it could lead to DKA. She was told to just keep monitoring and call back if it happens again. Why should she experience this again? She's feeling extremely vulnerable.

    I wouldn't have ordered a pump where disconnection was "more likely to happen occasionally." What if the pump had fallen out of her pocket? Would they have replaced the pump under warranty?

    My daughter asked to talk to a supervisor. All were in a meeting. Now she's waiting for a phone call back. Hopefully this time the person knows diabetes and the risks they're asking us as consumers to take in using their product. It's completely unacceptable.

    Is this a product complaint that should be directed to the FDA?
     
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  2. MomofSweetOne

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    Update #1
    The same thing happened again this afternoon, and over 200 units were missing from the cartridge when my daughter tried pulling the insulin out. She went from a BG around 200 to 38 with four juice boxes before giving herself a mini-gluc that only took her to about 160. When she called Tandem to tell them the second cartridge had pulled loose again, she was told "I'll make a note of it."

    I called back, and then a supervisor took my call. We have a new pump coming Friday, but my trust in Tandem as a company has been sorely shaken. They were starting to go the route of Medtronic's blame the family routine. I KNOW Tandem is supposed to have safety precautions built-in. That was a huge factor in our selection of it. However, something significant happened today, and I want a company that problem-solves to prevent reoccurrences rather than blaming.

    I'm supposed to get a call tomorrow from a manager, but tonight I'm feeling very betrayed by the company we trusted.
     
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  3. rgcainmd

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    So sorry to hear this is happening to your daughter (and likely countless other Tandem users). Please keep us posted if you can.
     
  4. MEVsmom

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    We don't have a Tandem pump right now, but will be switching soon, so I will admit, I don't know the setup of the cartridge in relation to the pump. I understand the fear of DKA if the cartridge was pulled loose, but in the second incident, are you saying the pump gave her 200 units of insulin? What would have caused that to happen? Just trying to understand potential problems.
     
  5. MomofSweetOne

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    We don't think it gave her all 200 units, but she did have a very bad low for which we weren't otherwise able to determine a cause like we ordinarily can. She had filled the pump with 300 units 4-5 hours earlier, but when trying to save the insulin, she was only able to retrieve 30 units. Obviously, part of that went for those hours of basal and tubing fill, but her TDD is around 44, so she didn't use up 200 units in four hours.

    The new pump has arrived, and we're supposed to mail the other one back to the company, along with the cartridges, for them to evaluate. It bothers me that they insisted that the low couldn't have been caused by the cartridge coming loose rather than working to problem-solve what happened. We were not asked for the pump or the cartridges until I pointed that omission out.

    I don't want her or anyone else affected by this problem again. While the loose cartridge could have been caused by not getting it on tight, the casual attitude twice of not replacing the pump bothers me. Insulin is a drug that can kill - as can the lack of it. If they're having problems with cartridges not staying tight, they need to determine why and do a recall.

    https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/index.cfm?action=reporting.home
     
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  6. MomofSweetOne

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    So, the report from Tandem arrived today. They concluded the severe low was due to "insulin stacking" and closed the case. I'm becoming more and more disillusioned with this company, and after looking forward to LGPS, especially as my daughter moves out, my daughter no longer trusts the company. She's worn the Pod since the day this has happened and has zero interest in ever experiencing another severe low like that one. BTW, another name for "insulin stacking" is....SUGAR SURFING. She'd given one unit because her spike had been much higher than usual. That one unit would not have required 6+ juice boxes and a lot of other stuff to combat the low.

    Quite the lecture:

    "Please note, that had you used the correction bolus feature in the pump and inputted your current BG value, the pump would have determined that with your current insulin on board (IOB) and your current BG level, that no additional insulin was needed. I encourage you to use the correction bolus feature in the pump when delivering a correction bolus, it will help in decreasing the possibility of insulin stacking."

    And the cartridge coming loose?

    ""Please note, that the X2 model has a different housing (outside casing) that allows the cartridge to be easier inserted and removed, a tool may no longer be needed."

    The fact that two cartridges CAME OFF the pump during wear while containing a medication can be lethal seems to not be of concern to the company.

    I guess I'd expected better, but I should have known this would be the finding. We'd already been told that back on the phone call, before I pointed out that they were assigning fault without even requesting the pump nor the cartridges back. They also never sent a return container or anything for the cartridges like other companies.

    Insulet's AP has moved to the top of our list for the next pump selection. As I said, my daughter hasn't worn the Tandem, per her choice, since this happened. I personally can't imagine the vulnerability she feels when the pump company she trusted didn't take the first disconnect seriously and then she went through a serious low with the second.
     

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