Questions about Animas pump

6 10 2008

I know at some point, I’ll need to replace Lucy.  I was poking around Animas’ website, and they have a GREAT demo of their pump.  I played with it a bit, trying to see how the things I do with Lucy would translate to the Animas.

One thing I noticed overall, is that there are WAY fewer customization options.  For example, when I want to do a meal bolus based on carbs, I can customize the scrolling amount (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 15).  However, I didn’t see that option on the Animas.  There are a lot of other things I didn’t see, which kind of surprised me.

The major thing I found, though, is with the meal bolus itself.  I entered my carbs, entered my blood sugar, and it gave me a suggested amount (based on carbs, BS, IOB, etc).  HOWEVER, the amount to deliver defaults to ZERO, NOT the amount suggested.  In fact, the default button is the “Go” button.  If one were just to hit “OK” through all the prompts after entering your info, you would in fact deliver NO insulin for your meal.  This seems like a bad idea.  I would hate to take the time for every single bolus to scroll up to the suggested amount.  Is there a setting somewhere to change that?  I couldn’t seem to find it.

Relatedly, after you hit Go to deliver, it shows that your insulin is delivering and you hit any button to cancel.  Are you just supposed to sit there and wait for your bolus to finish delivering before touching anything else with your pump?  What happens if you accidentally press buttons?  All this seems like a sure recipe for accidental highs.

I am also frustrated with the interface for changing inuslin/carb ratios, correction factor, etc.  Each segment has its own screen, so it’s hard to see the big picture.

Anyway, I’m sure people who use the Animas all the time have a better idea of how to use their pump.  But for now, it looks like I’m sticking with my Cozmo.

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3 responses

6 10 2008
Caro

The Animas is definitely less customisable than the Cozmo.

The defaulting to zero is a “safety feature”. It meas you can’t deliver any insulin without taking the time to think about it, so you can’t then say “I just hit yes and got so much insulin that I had a huge low.” Covering their asses if you like.

The thing you need to remember about Animas is that the boluses deliver waaaaaay faster than any of the other pumps. I seem to remember it is about 1 unit every 2 seconds, so not pressing any buttons isn’t as hard as it might seem. It also has to be “hit any button to cancel” because with a bolus delivery that fast, you don’t have time fro much else. Personally I loved the fast delivery. When I switched back to Medtronic, I’d frequently disconnect 30 seconds after my breakfast bolus to take a shower, and miss a chunk of the bolus!

The other major difference between Animas and Cozmo is the way that active insulin/bolus on board is calculated. I don’t think either way is perfect, but they are quite different. (Cozmo subtracts all active insulin regardless of source and regardless of the type of the new bolus. So if you eat 30g of carbs 10 minutes after a previous bolus for 40g of carbs, it will suggest a zero bolus even thought the first bolus is still working on the first lot of carbs. Again, this is a safety feature to absolutely prevent overbolusing, but sems over zealous to me. Animas, and Medtronic, only subtract active insulin from a correction bolus amount. So if your blood sugar is at or below target but you have active insulin, the pump ignores it and does not automatically subtract it from a carb bolus dose, even though that insulin will make you low. There is a long post about this in my archives somewhere. Active insulin calculations are a real “pet topic” of mine!)

6 10 2008
Amalas

Thanks for the tip on the “press any button to cancel” thing. The demo certainly does not really indicate how long it takes for the insulin to deliver.

I would have to agree that Cozmo does not do a great job of calculating the IOB. I end up having to do some calculating in my head. IOB is not a perfect science, so I can understand the differences in calculations.

6 10 2008
Lee Ann

I don’t see those features as problems, but then I’ve only ever had an Animas pump. I’ve gone through the Bolus Wizard just to see how much it would recommend, and had there already been an amount there and I’d accidentally hit go, I would have been SOL. In the end always better to accidentally end up a little high than bottoming out and unable to help yourself.

Caro explained how it’s just a safety feature that you can hit any button and cancel delivery. If you do that, it alarms and won’t stop until you acknowledge it. So it’s not like you’ll cancel delivery and not realize it until you check your BG hours later. I have done that while putting my pump back on, but it alarms so I go to the history, see how much of the bolus I took, and just program to take the rest. The insulin does deliver fast (although you can set it to deliver slower), so while I’ve used the feature accidentally, I’ve also used it when I’ve needed it, which is really what counts most.

In the end, it just boils down to what you like, and what you’re willing to compromise on or not. I can’t imagine living without a waterproof pump. When I’ve taken my pump off to shower, I’ve inevitably forgotten to put it back on. Better for me to just wear it and set it in the soap dish than end up miles from home wondering why my pump isn’t on my hip.

Also, I have a MM CGM, so I have some experience with both companies. Animas customer service has always been better IMO. I don’t know anything about Cozmo pumps or the company, so I couldn’t speak on that either way.

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