My opened insulin pump. I have a few very old insulin pumps at home that don’t work anymore. I’ve looked at them not less when a thousend times but I’ve never seen the inside of one of them. There is nothing more obvious then to take a screwdriver, unscrew one of the old insulin pumps and have a look inside.
I can still remember when I got my first insulin pump. That was at the beginning of the 90’s of the last century, I think in the summer of 1992. I visited a Springsteen concert with friends in the Festhalle in Frankfurt, Germany and stayed overnight. That night I had an unnoticed Hypo and had fallen into a coma, because the next morning I woke up in a hospital. At that time I used as background insulin the intermediate-acting insulin. The long-term-acting insulin was not yet invented. I could only leave the hospital if my nightly problems with the basal insulin were solved. It began to dawn on me that I couldn’t be back home on the same day. I got an insulin pump. Oh, how I hated that device on my body at the beginning. The first three days with the insulin pump I could not even go to the bathroom. I just did not know how to do this with a pump. It then took three weeks before I was allowed to leave the hospital and half a year, until I had befriended me with the insulin pump. But one day it just clicked and I found the insulin pump fantastic und being a great help. At that time I got an Disetronic H-Tron pump, a amazing device. Many following insulin pumps were of this type. Only my last pump was from another manufacturer. The H-Tron insulin pump was no longer manufactured, and I couldn’t get it anymore. It was a simple but stable and reliable device. It had no remote control and only one standard bolus and made no bonus proposal, but I loved it. I opened this typ of insulin pump.
There are two small battery compartments at the pump on the front side. In the battery compartments I found 4 small screws. At first I loosened the screws. In the next step I unscrew the two buttons of the top side of the pump. On the rear side the insulin pump I found a lid that was glued. This is waterproof and holds. I think any insulin pump today is designed with a lid that is glued on one side. The glue was quite brittle and could easily be solved with a small screwdriver. Thus, one side was completely open and the innards of the insulin pump fell just out.
The innards of the pump itself consist of a motor with a gearbox and a threaded rod and electronics with a display. On the gearbox can be seen immediately the origin of the insulin pump from the Switzerland. A country with lots of high-precision cuckoo clocks and gear experience. Is not simply used a prefabricated gear that is fitted to the motor. The gears connect the motor to the threaded rod. The threaded rod, in turn, pushes the insulin from the reservoir. The motor gets an electric impulse for each turn and the electronics counts the pulses and knows how much insulin was delivered. (Encoder motor). I once measured and determined that the motor creates not quite 17000 RPM. For me the insulin pump is a little ingenious technical milestone.
Warning! The insulin pump, I have screwed and opened is at least 15 to 20 years old and doesn’t work for a long time. It is electronic scrap. Do not loosen any screws on your insulin pump and do not try to open it. That can be dangerous to your life and expensive for you, too.
This article was first published in this blog on 28 Mar 2015 @ 1:39 pm in German language by thomas.
#diabetes #type1 #dedoc #dblog#insulin-pump