The $15,000 insulin pump catheter


Our diabetes technology is amazing. But it's no better than its weakest link. With diabetes therapy there are many potential stumbling blocks on the path to good control.

Case in point. The device above is an insulin pump catheter. The cost to make one one these is pennies. The sales price is a bit more. But this one created a $15,000 bill for one family. Insulin pumpers know exactly what I'm talking about.

The owner of this catheter changed an infusion site one evening and went on his business. The next morning, feeling nauseous, he chose not to say anything to his family and went to high school. His blood sugar was 279 mg/dl [15.5 mmol/L]. He took a correction dose of rapid-acting insulin via his insulin pump. By noon, his mother was making a phone call to the on call endocrinologist to report her son had been vomiting at