Medtronic MiniMed 670G Pump Failure Resulted in Hypoglycemic Episode and Fall, Lawsuit Alleges

According to allegations raised in a recently filed product liability lawsuit, the failure of a Medtronic MiniMed 670G pump caused a Pennsylvania woman to lose consciousness and fall, after the device delivered inappropriate levels of insulin that resulted in a hypoglycemic event.

The complaint (PDF) was filed by Carol Sheldon in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania on November 18, indicating that Medtronic manufactured an unreasonably dangerous and defective insulin pump, which has since been the subject of a massive recall.

Sheldon is a Type 1 Diabetic, who began using a Medtronic MiniMed Model 670G insulin pump in June 2018, to help regulate her blood sugar. On November 18, 2018, Sheldon was at her Pennsylvania home when the Medtronic insulin pump indicated that her blood sugar was low. As a result of the alert, she headed toward the kitchen to obtain food, but suffered a hypoglycemic episode that caused her to pass out and fall.

The lawsuit maintains that the fall and subsequent injuries were a direct result of the Medtronic Minimed pump failing, leaving her with serious injuries, including a broken foot, toenails torn off of her foot, and a traumatic brain injury from the impact of the fall.

Sheldon was treated at a nearby hospital, where she was informed that she suffered a severe hypoglycemia event, resulting in seizures and a diabetic coma.

Medtronic Minimed Problems

The Medtronic Minimed insulin pumps are small, computerized devices that deliver insulin to diabetic patients throughout the day, via a catheter implanted under the skin. They are wirelessly connected to both the patient’s blood glucose meter and a monitoring system to track glucose levels, as well as a remote controller that is designed to communicate with the pump and deliver a specific amount of insulin.

When functioning properly, these devices and their components mimic the ways a healthy pancreas works by delivering continuous and controlled doses of rapid-acting insulin, 24 hours a day, to match the user’s body needs.

The case raises allegations similar to those presented in a growing number of Medtronic Minimed lawsuits, claiming that the manufacturer knew or should have known that defects with the 600 series insulin pumps posed a serious risk for consumers.

Sheldon indicates that Medtronic Inc. submitted a defect notice to the FDA in November 2019, in which the manufacturer admitted certain series insulin pumps contained a defect in the locking retainer rings, including the Model 670G. This could prevent a patient’s insulin reservoir from being properly seated within the pump when loaded.

The information prompted the FDA to issue the Class I Medtronic MiniMed pump recall, which impacted roughly 300,000 insulin pumps distributed since September 2016, including the MiniMed 670G model Sheldon was using at the time of the incident.

Medtronic acknowledged at that time that it was aware of at least 26,421 complaints in which the insulin pump over or under delivered the programmed amount of insulin, resulting in 2,175 injuries and at least one death.

Over the coming weeks and months, as product liability lawyers continue to investigate claims for individuals who experienced problems after a Medtronic Minimed pump failure, the size and scope of the litigation is expected to continue to increase, likely involving hundreds of lawsuits that may be filed in courts nationwide.

4 Comments

  • AngelaAugust 16, 2021 at 7:32 am

    My name is Angela and in July 2020 my Medtronic insulin pump malfunctioned. I am a Nurse and had had the pump several years. This is the 2nd pump over 20 years to malfunction on me. This last incident left me with a 811 blood sugar and hospitalized 4 days in ICU. I Went home on Insulin shots. It is very difficult for me to control my blood sugar on shots. I’m Insulin resistant and long acting insu[Show More]My name is Angela and in July 2020 my Medtronic insulin pump malfunctioned. I am a Nurse and had had the pump several years. This is the 2nd pump over 20 years to malfunction on me. This last incident left me with a 811 blood sugar and hospitalized 4 days in ICU. I Went home on Insulin shots. It is very difficult for me to control my blood sugar on shots. I’m Insulin resistant and long acting insulin doesn't work well on me. Needless to say I needed a new pump. I have always used a Medtronic and was comfortable with it. I did not know until just a few days ago there had been recalls. I now have the 670G which I now have learned was recalled. I don’t understand why the would still give out a pump that had been recalled. Also. When I called Medtronic to get a new pump I told them my other be malfunctioned. They did not offer a replacement. I had to buy it because my 5 year warranty was expired. Thank you for reading this. Angela

  • ChristinaAugust 9, 2021 at 12:54 am

    Have had 2 malfunctions with retainer rings, the latest being the last 2 days. Blood sugar ran high even with muliple insulin boluses for almost 24 hrs, then suddenly dropped to 39. Then went high again. I loosened the resevoir to check it, after changing sites twice and trying to figure out what was wrong and retainer ring blew off and insulin went everywhere.

  • DeborahAugust 7, 2021 at 10:21 pm

    I had an incident this past June 11th where my glucose level got so high that I became non-responsive. My husband called 911. I was in CCU until the 1st of July being diagnosed with ketoacidosis. My glucose level was as high as 1300. I was in a coma for two weeks. Also, I had kidney failure and was on dialysis three days a week, beginning in CCU for a month. Then I got to spend another two weeks [Show More]I had an incident this past June 11th where my glucose level got so high that I became non-responsive. My husband called 911. I was in CCU until the 1st of July being diagnosed with ketoacidosis. My glucose level was as high as 1300. I was in a coma for two weeks. Also, I had kidney failure and was on dialysis three days a week, beginning in CCU for a month. Then I got to spend another two weeks in a rehabilitation center. I had been on the Minimed system for about a year. I was wearing it when the incident happened.

  • HopeMay 3, 2021 at 5:15 am

    I am a nurse and was working at my current place of work. It was nearing the end of my day. As I was finishing up with my last patient, I suddenly got dizzy and within a minute or two, I blacked out. When I came out of it, I was in Urgent Care Clinic, on oxygen and being poked by.nurses, frantically trying to get an IV placed. I have small veins that easily roll and had at least 8 attempts for[Show More]I am a nurse and was working at my current place of work. It was nearing the end of my day. As I was finishing up with my last patient, I suddenly got dizzy and within a minute or two, I blacked out. When I came out of it, I was in Urgent Care Clinic, on oxygen and being poked by.nurses, frantically trying to get an IV placed. I have small veins that easily roll and had at least 8 attempts for an IV access on my arms. Due to my pump being one of the malfunctioning pumps and not knowing that had an issue with the cartridge ring, my blood sugar had plunged to 28 and I had shallow breathing that was almost undetectable. Medtronic did agree to replace it with a refurbished one within a few weeks, but I continue to have issues with the refurbished one also. I am having an extremely hard te with lows still and have trust issues when I am using it. I believe that this episode could've been easily avoided if the company would have been more proactive about it.

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