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Unique to Medtronic Pump

Please note that this article contains affiliate links.

Despite their many similarities, each of the insulin pumps currently available in Canada offers its own distinct features. Therefore, each insulin pump fills a unique need in the type 1 diabetes community. The key to success in choosing an insulin pump is determining which one has the features that meets YOUR family’s needs. Here are the
unique features that sets Medtronic apart from all the rest.

Medtronic - Paradigm® / Veo™  Medtronic Paradigm Insulin Pump

  • Has an integrated Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM), the first one approved for distribution in Canada. As a result, in addition to the pump-specific benefits outlined in this article, the joint pump-Continuous Glucose Monitor system has all the benefits of Continuous Glucose Monitor systems, including predictive alerts for high and low trends, which notify the user if glucose rises above or falls below a given threshold.
  • Low Glucose Suspend feature (when pump is used with the Continuous Glucose Monitor). That is, insulin delivery will stop if the user does not respond to a low glucose reading on the Continuous Glucose Monitor. So when a user is experiencing a debilitating low (confusion, even unconsciousness) they will not continue to receive insulin which may otherwise contribute to the low. The basal insulin will resume after 2 hours.
(Note: under normal circumstances, it is not advisable to stop basal insulin delivery during a low blood glucose episode, as the interruption may result in high blood glucose a few hours later. However, in the case of the Low Glucose Suspend feature, the pump puts priority on recovery from the low when a user may not otherwise be able to help him/herself.)
  • Two sizes of pumps and reservoirs: one that holds up to 180 units and one that holds up to 300 units.  
tips from the trenches of type 1 diabetesWhen purchasing a pump for a 10 year old you cannot imagine needing more than 180 units over three days but by the time the warranty is up on the pump your 10-year-old is now 14, the size of a grown man and in the throes of puberty, using 100+ units of insulin a day.  The 300 unit reservoir was invaluable for our family when our son’s insulin needs increased dramatically!  Even before this happens, you do not have to fill the reservoirs – just put enough insulin in for three days and enough extra for priming out any air bubbles.
-Jacky, mom of a 13-year-old boy with type 1 diabetes

  • Insulin pump is fully operational on its own. You are able to use other meters as desired (but, as with all linked systems, you will lose the ability to communicate with the pump).
  • Meter does not also function as a remote. That is, when using the Bayer Contour Link meter, it will transmit the blood glucose reading to the pump for use in dosing calculations, but a user cannot bolus from the meter itself. There is, however, a separate remote meter option available.
  • Alert-Directed Navigation directs you to appropriate menus following an alert, for convenience and ease of use.
  • Because of the venting mechanism, tubing-to-reservoir connections are proprietary – if you have a Medtronic pump, you must use Medtronic infusion sets. Venting is used to maintain the proper pressurized environment for the internal and external mechanisms of the insulin pump. With the Paradigm® infusion sets, the venting mechanism is built directly into the connection, so new venting is provided with each set change to help maintain the reliability of insulin delivery.
  • The pump is not officially water-proof. In response to the FAQ “Can I swim or bathe while wearing a Medtronic insulin pump?” the Medtronic website states (as of January, 2013):
“The pump has been designed to be water resistant, which means it can withstand an accidental dunk in water or a splash but any pump can develop minor cracks from day to day wear that could lead to issues if you submerge your pump for extended periods of time.”
  • Carelink web-based software available from the pump company which allows users to store, review, and print their insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor data, for trend detection and glucose management decisions. We have heard many families talk about the exceptional user interface and data analysis options of Carelink.
  • Free Vacation loaner program provides a back-up insulin pump for you to bring with you on vacation (peace of mind just in case something happens with the usual insulin pump while you are away).
  • 4 year warranty period on the pump. 1 year warranty period on the Continuous Glucose Monitor transmitter.

For an overview of all features of each pump, please see the Insulin Pump Comparison Chart.

Any questions? Comments? Feel free to Contact Us.

The above information was reviewed for content accuracy by clinical staff of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Diabetes Clinic.

The above information was reviewed for content accuracy by representatives of Medtronic.

This material has been developed from sources that we believe are accurate, however, as the field of medicine (in particular as it applies to diabetes) is rapidly evolving, the information should not be relied upon, as it is designed for informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of medical advice, instruction and/or treatment. If you have specific questions, please consult your doctor or appropriate health care professional.

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