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Can't get a Dexcom Sesnor to last more than 36 hours

Discussion in 'Continuous Glucose Sensing' started by WillowBean, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. WillowBean

    WillowBean Approved members

    Apr 2, 2007
    My 16 year old son has very poor self care habits and his A1C is 14! To help bring his A1C down we got Dexcom 6. We have had the system for 6 weeks and we get sensor failures every other day. I have spoken to Dexcom customer service and the local rep and everyone I talk to tells me a different reason for the failure: dehydrated, too skinny, blood sugars too high, too large of a swing in blood sugars, pressing to hard at insertion, etc. When I ask the endo he says to contact Dexcom and Dexcom says to contact the Dr. We have tried to address all the possible issues mentioned but his blood sugars are high and I can't get him in range long enough to see if Dexcom works in range for more than 48 hours. Do you have any suggestions to could help us get a Dexcom sensor to last more than a day or two?
  2. don04

    don04 Approved members

    Oct 14, 2013
    This is a tricky topic. Sensor failures are a continuing problem for Dexcom, I suppose it is nice that they replace when you call, but it is still not fun. My failures seem to go in waves.. I will have a bunch of failed, then several weeks of running A-OK. Where does he wear his sensors (IE stomach, arm etc). I assume he is a pretty skinny kid, you need to find somewhere with some padding to put it, side of stomach, hips, etc. Do you use an overpatch to make sure nothing is shifting/lifting? Dexcom will send some, and they help a lot when I am outside sweating/swimming.
  3. iwillfightwithfire

    iwillfightwithfire New Member

    Jul 23, 2019
    My sensors fail more frequently when my blood sugars are high (350 mg/dl+), and I usually am also dehydrated as a consequence of the high blood sugars. I would bet money that that is the main issue. I would focus first on getting those blood sugars down. I'd start by really encouraging drinking water; at the very least, his kidneys and skin will appreciate the boost. Then I'd take a look at where the sensors are inserted. I'd start by keeping a log book of sorts - keeping track of where these sensors are going (i.e. butt, thighs, arms, tummy) and how fast they are dying on you). This way, it will be easier to see if it's a particular part of the body that may be affecting them or whether it may be something more internal such as prolonged elevated glucose.

    Is he on a pump or MDI? Regardless, I would speak with your child's endo about making some aggressive I:C and basal/bolus ratio changes. Blood sugars that high for that long are probably making him feel gross on top of everything else, and getting those blood sugars down for a longer period of time may also fix the Dexcom problem. Does he have ketones, as well? I'd be worried about DKA if his blood sugars are that high consistently, too.

    Sorry for the onslaught of questions. I really hope this gets resolved and that he feels better very soon. If it seems like he is having trouble caring for himself and his diabetes, you could also consider looking to a therapist who specializes in chronic illness. My A1c used to be regularly in the 13%s until I saw my current therapist and really was convinced to do my best. Sending love and support your way!

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