Insulin Pump Malfunction During Hospitalization: Two Case Reports.
Diabetes Technol Ther. 2016 Jun;18(6):399-403
Authors: Faulds ER, Wyne KL, Buschur EO, McDaniel J, Dungan K
BACKGROUND: Insulin pump malfunctions and failures continue to occur; however, more severe malfunctions such as the "runaway pump" phenomenon are rarely reported. This article describes two cases of pump malfunction in which pump users appear to have received an unsolicited bolus of insulin resulting in severe episodes of hypoglycemia during hospitalization.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Both cases of insulin pump malfunction occurred in the inpatient setting at a large academic medical center in the United States. An analysis of the corresponding insulin pump downloads was performed. The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience (MAUDE) database was searched for similar cases involving Medtronic (Northridge, CA) insulin pumps using the terms "pump," "infusion," "insulin AND malfunction AND Medtronic."
RESULTS: The two cases described show remarkable similarities, each demonstrating a severe hypoglycemic event preceded by an infusion site change followed by an alarm. In both cases a rapid spraying of insulin was reported. The insulin pump downloads validated much of the patients' and medical staff's descriptions of events. The FDA's MAUDE database search revealed 425 cases meeting our search term criteria. All cases were reviewed. Seven cases were identified involving independent movement of the reservoir piston.
CONCLUSIONS: The cases detailed are the first to describe an insulin pump malfunction of this nature in the hospital setting involving unsolicited insulin boluses leading to severe hypoglycemia. The cases are particularly compelling in that they were witnessed by medical personnel. Providers and patients should receive instruction education on the recognition and management of insulin pump malfunction.
PMID: 27027151 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]