With medical devices getting smaller and sleeker, we might hear more stories like this one, about a substitute teacher who ripped out a student’s insulin pump, thinking it was a cell phone:
The East Ridge High School junior said Wednesday he is still reeling after a substitute teacher mistook the student’s insulin pump for a beeping cell phone and snatched it out of his hands Friday, detaching the tube regulating his blood sugar.
…The pump he wears at his hip alerts him with a beep when his blood sugar reaches dangerous levels. A tube is connected to a catheter that goes beneath the skin on his thigh.
“It’s my whole life on my side,” he said. The square, neon-blue pump, which looks like a pager, began beeping in Cliffton’s third-period reading class while the students were being rowdy, he said.
Maline demanded Cliffton give him the pump and took it when he refused, pulling out the tube that drips insulin into Cliffton’s body.
No medical harm was done, the sub was fired, and as the report notes, the student’s blood sugar has returned to normal.
We’ve heard of two-stage devices, with a wireless controller separate from the infuser / pump. Maybe then, someone seizing the controller won’t be as traumatic to the patient (unless they start hitting buttons and infusing insulin…)