Daily Archives: May 23, 2013

De-mystifying the motor errors

Before Diabetes Blog Week started, you may recall that I was whining a bit about insulin pump motor errors.

Well, I don’t know what caused them – and Medtronic has certainly been willing to work with me so I don’t end up in a potentially troublesome situation (i.e. like Swampy, but asking “Where’s my Insulin?”), but I’ve decided to make a few changes on my own, just in case. But first…

Every time I’ve had a problem with my Revel, I wax nostalgia about my old Medtronic 515 which worked for years without even a hiccup. What’s different about that pump and this one? Well, first of all, the older one had much less precision with insulin delivery. I don’t know the numbers off the top of my head, but the old one only gave me the choice of one digit beyond the decimal point, while the newer one gives me a choice of at least two. That’s a tenfold increase in precision right there if you’re talking bolus.  But if you’re in the basal-domain, take the hourly basal and divide it by sixty minutes (or however often the pump delivers pieces of basal) and you’ve got some really tight tolerances.

Maybe those tighter tolerances mean a better ability to detect when the pump falls out of those tolerances? Though the official definition of a Motor Error is vague and circular at best,  The best definition I’ve heard of a motor error is that it occurs when the piston doesn’t line up where it’s expected. It makes sense to me, so I’m sticking with it.
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