Roche AccuChek Insulin pumps
(Photo: GOV.UK)

Following concerns raised about cracked cartridges and insulin leaks, 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.

The regulator have asked patients to check the pre-filled glass insulin cartridge for cracks before use. It advised against using the cartridge if it has been dropped even if no cracks are visible and urged to closely follow the updated handling instructions in the pump user manual when changing pre-filled glass insulin cartridges.

In some of the reported leakage incidents, the cartridges were found to be cracked and provided an inadequate supply of insulin to patients. Leakages also occurred in cases where no cracks in the cartridge were visible, the regulator said.

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.

Healthcare 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.

“Because of the rare risk of insulin leakage from the Roche Accu-Chek Insight Insulin Pump, patients should check the pre-filled glass insulin cartridge for any cracks prior to usage,” Dr June Raine, MHRA chief executive, said.

“We would like to reassure patients that risk of leakage remains low when used in accordance with instructions and today’s safety recommendations. Patients should continue to use their insulin pump as recommended whilst they await contact from their healthcare professional regarding an alternative device.

“If you suspect a problem with your insulin pump, please seek medical advice immediately.”

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