Pump Down!

After completing a short pool swim a couple of days ago I was rinsing my insulin pump (chlorine not great for plastics) when I got a black screen (of death) followed by the pump vibrating non-stop. There was no response when I pushed buttons and it was immediately apparent the there was something seriously wrong with the pump. This was confirmed when I got back to my car and using a 10 cent piece undid the battery cover (to disable the pump and stop the vibrating) and brownish liquid came out of the battery slot (all over my tan work pants).


Possible leak into battery leading to pump failure, rusty battery pictured

In a situation like this it is important not to use the pump. We become accustomed to these units and can forget that they are a medical device which need to be treated with the utmost caution and respect. The pump went straight in my bag and I was on the phone to the Animas distributor in Australia immediately.

The service from AMSL Diabetes was fantastic and although I felt completely in control and able to quickly change back on to insulin pens, their knowledge and support over the phone made me feel safe and confident. A replacement pump was sent out the next day and had it not been for the weekend (bad timing) I would have had the replacement pump within 24hrs. Including the weekend I had the new pump within 3 days.

The reason for the failure, unknown at this time but suspected to be a hairline crack in the pump casing which may have allowed water to seep into the pump. Having changed the battery cap about 4 months ago and the battery a couple of months ago it may have been seeping in for some time. You don’t want to think about the possibilities of the pump failing whilst connected to you but as I survived for several months without issue there must be some good fail safes within these devices.

So back on the pump and back to training. Also very happy to get my CGM back!


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