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New safety warnings on risk of insulin leakage from Roche Accu-Chek Insight Insulin pumps

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a national patient safety alert for the NovoRapid PumpCart prefilled insulin cartridge and the Roche Accu-Chek Insight Insulin pump system following concerns raised about cracked cartridges and insulin leaks.

Patients are being asked to check the pre-filled glass insulin cartridge for cracks prior to use. The cartridge should not be used if it has been dropped even if no cracks are visible. Closely follow the updated handling instructions in the pump user manual when changing pre-filled glass insulin cartridges.

The device, which releases the insulin your body needs through the day and night, comprises a pump, tube, battery and a pre-filled glass insulin cartridge. In some of the reported leakage incidents, the cartridges were found to be cracked and provided an inadequate supply of insulin to patients. However, leakages also occurred in cases where no cracks in the cartridge were visible. In some patients there were consequences of not receiving enough insulin from their pump system, including reports of severely high blood sugar and diabetic ketoacidosis (a serious complication of diabetes when the body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones).

Health care professionals are being advised to contact patients over the next six months using said device to discuss their individual needs and source an alternative pump where appropriate.

Key patient recommendations are:

  • Check the pump and cartridge regularly for damages, for example cracks or leakage. If you smell insulin (a strong antiseptic chemical smell) this could also indicate a leakage.
  • Do not use the cartridge if cracks or leakage are seen or if the cartridge was dropped. Follow the instructions of your Accu-Chek Insight user manual for replacing a cartridge and for cleaning the cartridge compartment in the insulin pump.
  • During the day and before going to sleep please carefully check that your insulin pump is delivering insulin and there are no leakages.
  • Never change treatment delivery methods without first consulting a relevant healthcare professional.
  • Failure of insulin delivery due to leakage may not result in an alert notification from the insulin pump and cracks and leakages may not always be visible. You should check blood glucose levels multiple times throughout your day whilst using pumps.
  • Tell your healthcare professional immediately if you suspect a problem with your insulin delivery.

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Source: Gov.UK, 26 May 2022


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