What We’re Reading: Insulin Pump Safety

The Associated Press’s coverage of a new FDA study about insulin pump safety in adolescents has elicited strong reactions from several members of the diabetes blogosphere. We’ve been reading about this controversy from the following sources:


What do you think of the FDA’s findings and the media’s coverage of the issue? Let us know in the comments section.

This blog entry was written by Web Editor Tara Dairman.

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  • joy of diabetes

    I can say that at any day I could return to using the needle if I wanted to and could just take the pump off….Not gonna happen. Although there is lot’s of trial and error, and mistakes, it has made my life and control dramatically improved for the last 15 years of my 44 year diabetic journey.Diabetes—it’s all in your head!

  • joy of diabetes

    I think that there is a certain mentality and maturity that must exist for a child to fully grasp their actions when it comes to diabetes management. A lot of that is parent taught and demonstrated. As someone who was diagnosed at 13 months and is now 45 years old, I think I could have messed up on either the needle or the pump as a child.
    It would seem that tight carb, exercise, and
    insulin intake has to be adhered to. If you can stop your kid from over bolusing, then I think it could be acceptable. Momma, Daddy, and the Doctor have to be proactively involved in the decision and the implementation of a pump. Keep Learning…Keep Going….Peace, Bob Diabetes Insulin Pumps and kids

  • spadoinkel

    The article I read was in the Dallas Morning News. May 5 2008. The article was aimed at the general public who have no idea what an insulin pump is or how it works. Based on the number of calls we received telling us about he article and well meaning friends and family stressing the importance for us to read it; the article seems to have created quite a panic among the general populous. Are there risks? Of course.

    The article did not list a single problem or issue that was not WELL covered by our doctor. There are two KEY paragraphs in the article we read.

    Para graph 1.
    ” According to the analysis, some teens didn’t know how to use the pumps correctly, dropped them or didn’t take good care of them. There were two possible suicide attempts by teens who gave themselves too much insulin, according to the analysis.”

    Frankly i am surprised that the suicide attempts were only two in number. I would have figured at least 10. That said two out of “…a possible 100,000” people using the pump is an insignificant statistical anomaly no matter how tragic the situations were. Even the 1,500 injuries cited in the article comes out to a 1.5% problem.

    The true issue is found in second key paragraph.

    “And they’re a growing segment of diabetes care, with $1.3 billion in annual sales worldwide, said Kelly Close, a San Francisco-based editor of a patient newsletter. She said 100,000 teenagers may be using them.”

    $1.3 billion is not chump change. If the general public can get worked up into a protective frenzy the government will have to take action with stronger restrictions. Stronger restrictions will equate to more inspections and income for the government. In short there is a 1.3 billion dollar pie out there and the FDA wants a bigger slice.