Medtronic Warns of Stuck MiniMed Pump Buttons

Changes in air pressure might cause an issue, the pump maker warns.



Stuck insulin pump button on a plane! … sounds like a straight-to-video Samuel L. Jackson thriller, but it’s actually the gist of a safety notice issued by Medtronic for those who use its MiniMed pump systems.

Medtronic issued a field safety notification about a rare, temporary, but still annoying glitch that can happen with MiniMed 600 series pumps. When atmospheric pressure around the pump increases or decreases rapidly, it can cause the keypads on the pumps to become stuck or difficult to push down.

The notice states that if the button seems difficult to push down, it’s most likely a temporary situation which will usually resolve itself within 30 minutes. The bigger problem is when the pump button gets stuck in a pressed position. The pumps are designed to cut off insulin delivery (both bolus and basal) within three minutes of detecting such a problem, but this can cause a siren to go off if the situation isn’t resolved within 10 minutes, and insulin delivery won’t resume until you clear the alarm. To solve this, they suggest the elegantly low-tech solution of removing the pump’s battery cap and then installing it again. They warn, however, that you might need to have a AA battery handy, as the pump might decide then that it needs a new one.

Medtronic is currently not suggesting that MiniMed pumps need to be recalled or repaired because of this issue. The Medtronic MiniMed 600 series includes the 630G, the 640G, and the 670G. Customers should already have received notice of this issue from Medtronic.

This isn’t the first reported issue to arise with the MiniMed pump systems. Earlier this year, Medtronic warned that kinked cannulas could cause insulin delivery interruption in MiniMed Pro-set infusion sets, and Medtronic warned in 2015 that the MiniMed 640G could give the wrong bolus suggestion.

To read the full notice, go to www.medtronicdiabetes.com/customer-support/product-and-service-updates/notice6-letter

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Craig Idlebrook is a past editor for Insulin Nation, Type 2 Nation, and Información Sobre Diabetes. He is now the community engagement and content manager for T1D Exchange.