Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Medtronic pump warning

optimistooptimist Posts: 546
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Pain Management
For those of you with Medtronic pain pumps, Medtronic formally released a statement today, short of recall, that there have been 8 deaths and 270 "serious adverse events or near deaths" from their pain pumps. They inferred it was due to faulty filling of medication by the physician, but to those with these pumps - heads up and something to discuss with your PM.


  • BTW - the period of this "look-at" was May 1996-September 2010.
  • I have read the recall notices.

    More importantly...no pain pumps are being recalled. No pain pumps are being removed from any patient. Thise is not a problem with the pump.

    This recall is about the way a few Doctors and clinican's are refilling the pump. Instead of injecting the medication into the pump reservoir, it is being injected into the patient. Medtronics has issued a warning letter to Doctors and clinican's about this problem. No deaths have been reported from this issue.

    Patients who have Baclofen in their pumps may be at risk. Potentianlly dangerous complication can occur if this medication is suddely stopped. Baclofen is used in patients with severe spasticity such as MS.

    Patients who have become physically dependant on the pain meds used in their pump can suffer withdrawal.

    I also noticed a lot of Lawyers are posting about this recall. Why does that not surprise me?

    It might be a good idea to ask your Doctor or who ever is doing your refill if they are aware of this recall.

    I happen to have a Medtronic pain pump and have no worries mine.

    Thanks for the post Optimist. Anytime a recall such as this is reported it should be investicated.

    The next time I go in for a refill I will ask if they are aware of this recall.

    Please let me repeat....NO pumps are being recalled or removed form any patient. It is not a problem with the pain pump itself.

    Cheers :H
    Patsy W
  • I want to correct myself on my above post.

    Since 1996 until 2010, 8 deaths and 270 injuries have been reported from botched refills. That is what this recall is about, botched refills.

    So sorry Optimist, you were correct and I was wrong.
    Patsy W
  • This statement is not "technically" a recall - its basically the companies way of "going public" that these pumps weren't 100% safe (what medical treatment is?), and yes, they did infer the issues were moreso related to pump refills than pump failures. Its just a liability tactic. If they had issued a recall, they would be offering to pay pump removals on them. But, it makes you wonder if the sales rep. in the fields that actually train the doctors doing the refills knew what they were doing and training the doctors correctly.
  • You are correct.

    I just had my first refill last month. They had just started doing refills in my Doctors office and I was the very first patient to have a refill done by them. One of the girls in the office did my refill! I wondered the same thing as you mentioned....just how much training has she had? But all went well, although she had to try a few times to get it right.

    About 6 hours later I felt my pain just drop away!!

    I know nothing man made is perfect and that includes pain pumps. But to me, the benefits have far outweighed the risks. The only way they will ever take my pain pump is out of my dead body!!

    Those botched up refills comes to about one in 10,000. Chances are slim that it will ever happen to you but I would discuss this with your PM. I know I am going to.

    Thanks for bringing this to everyones attention Optimist.

    Cheers :H
    Patsy W
  • My wife had her first Medtronics pump implanted in FL in 2003. Other than it looking like a hockey puck sticking out of her side, there were few if any problems with it. We since have moved to OK. In 2009, she had a new pump implanted to replace the old one. Since then, she has had a constant bruise around the pump. The doctor here doesn't even care about that. No..she isn't bumping it on anything. She is now forced to wear loose dresses because she can't wear pants as they are right below the pump. After 1 1/2 years of this mess going on, I called Medtronics. Frankly, their response was of no help. Now, the lymph nodes in her leg, below the pump are swollen and she is having to go thru CT scans to find out what is causing this. I frankly am at the point of referring it to an attorney to get some answers. I hate doing stuff like this, but if that is the only way I can get her doctor "interested" in finding out what the problem is...so be it.
  • whatever I had to do to get the answers I want.

    I get so fed up with Doctors who ignore my questions!

    Best of luck to you.

    Patsy W :H
  • Folks,
    Seven years ago I had a Medtronic 863740 pain pump implanted for back pain. It performed flawlessly and was very effective in managing my back pain.

    Around the first of November I started to hear beeps coming from the pump. The doc said that it was a end of life warning ( ERI alert). He scheduled surgery to replace the pump.

    A week before the surgery during pre-op testing they found that my catheter was defective and probably not giving me the all the medication. So I signed the consent forms allowing the replacement of both the catheter and the pump. I really wanted the catheter replaced, I can't believe that they would leave a 7 year old catheter in place and expect it to last another 7 years.

    The surgery took place on Dec 2, the surgeon decided to NOT replace the catheter. The Operation notes started out saying that I signed the consent forms for the pump and the catheter, and that the items were in the OR suite. The OR report said that the catheter was severely kinked at the pump end. That reminded me that I got a FDA recall notice about my catheter model 8709SC.

    I can't understand why he did not replace the catheter. I did not see the doctor since before the surgery; I was discharged by a nurse. The stiches were taken out by his PA.

    I am not sure what to do next, Should I get that catheter replaced ? I called Medtronic they were no help, they kep saying "ask your doctor".
  • Are you OK? Has anyone been able to help you yet and if so, how?
    Fusion With Hardware C5/C6
    Fusion With Hardware L3 THROUGH S1
Sign In or Register to comment.