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New Dexcom startup - arm site?

Discussion in 'Continuous Glucose Sensing' started by Ruthellen, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. Ruthellen

    Ruthellen Approved members

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    We made the switch from Navigator to Dexcom 7+. We just finally gave up on the Navigator sensor alarms waking us up at night and Jake's body seemed to be rejecting the new adhesive on the new enhanced sensors (and he hated the insertion process!)

    Yesterday we got trained on the 7+ and inserted one in the arm. Two hours later we had the ???. THen we started with seeing sensor error 1. Then we pulled out the sensor last night and the tip was bent at 90 degrees.

    I believe the tip-bent may have been user-error and we will try it again today.

    Our rep tells us that the arm is not approved and he has no experience with insertions on the arm and that the warranty on the senor is void if we use it 'off label' and on the arm.

    I've read about many of you who use it on the arm. Did your reps/trainers recommend and/or approve you using it on the arm. We cannot use stomach or back hips bc we want to save that space for Jake's pump (Jake is a thin, muscular 12 year old).

    Please share your arm experiences with me. Do you have any suggestions? I have 30 days to decide if this will work for us before the return period is up!

    Thanks!
     
  2. Rachel's Dad

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    We also switched from the Navigator to the 7+ and our first attempt had the same result. We are now on our 4th sensor using the back of the arm and have observed the following:

    We have gotten the ??? after the initial 2hr startup on 3 of the 4 sensors. The latest, inserted last night, was over 6hrs.

    Make sure and pinch up the skin and lightly tip the inserter back to allow for a more shallow angle of insertion. Keep the pinch until the you have retracted the guide needle.

    We have never gotten more than 7 days on any sensor :(

    The sensor will be tracking great and will just go to ??? and after 3hrs will show Sensor Error (we could always get at least 15 days on the Navigator).
     
  3. Eric's mom

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    We had this happen the ??? and the err1 on our first insertion of the 7 but did a restart and then it worked fine. We also only use the back of the arm and have and sensors replaced, then don't even ask where the sensor was when you call to have it replaced. I believe I've only had 2 or 3 replaced. Dexcom suggested we use arm but the FDA only approved the stomach, so they could not officially tell me to use the arm.

    Almost every sensor we take out has the bent tip. Did you pinch up the arm before insertion? We do a loose pinch. I figured out I was not doing the insertion correctly when I re-read the manual, listen for the 2 clicks before you pull up the ring. Since then it has been just great.

    There are some past posts that have lots of tips for the dexcom which help alot.

    Hope that helps you some :)
     
  4. Eric's mom

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    We had this problem on the seven, but with the seven plus and my insertion getting better, our last sensor lasted 2 weeks and the only reason it did not last longer is the tape I had on it came off so the sensor came out. He even swam for three days straight with it on.

    For me, working on the insertion process seems to be the key for a good, long lasting sensor.
     
  5. Rachel's Dad

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    For me, working on the insertion process seems to be the key for a good, long lasting sensor.[/QUOTE]

    I would love to duplicate what you are doing....if you don't mind me asking.

    My daughter says the insertion is much less painful than the Navigator but we would still like to do it less if possible.

    Thanks
     
  6. Eric's mom

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    I would love to duplicate what you are doing....if you don't mind me asking.

    My daughter says the insertion is much less painful than the Navigator but we would still like to do it less if possible.

    Thanks[/QUOTE]

    I normally do the insertion while he is asleep and I use the emla cream.
    I don't really pinch up, but push out on the under side of the arm, he's 9 so has skinny arms. When I push down on the plunger I make sure I'm not even touching the collar, before I did it too fast, the insert/remove. Listen for the clicks, wait a few seconds, then remove by pulling up on the collar. I also put the transmitter in by hand and do not use the latch. I just don't like the lever. Oh and I only use an alcohol wipe to clean the area. Had use IV prep, which was not good.

    Our last endo appt he stated he did not think we were getting good results because the sensor was not in deep enough. So that's when I changed my insertion.

    Hope that helps you. If you need anymore info just let me know, I'll do my best to help you. I was really getting frustrated with it, but now I love it.
     
  7. Rachel's Dad

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    Thanks for the information. I do use IV Prep but make a circle around the insertion site. It really helps keep the adhesive on much longer.

    We originally purchased the 7+ for the summer because of swimming but are really starting like it better than the Navigator. The Navigator has many great features (range and accuracy will make it hard not to use during school and especially sports) but the 10hr warmup, strict calibration schedule, transmitter size and especially the horrible tape make it very difficult.

    Thanks again :)
     
  8. ecs1516

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    We have gone 14 days on the Dexcom sensor. Normally I pull them around day 12. They work great up until then and the tape is starting to look dirty and we change it. Our rep didn't say the arm wasn't approved. We only do back of upper arm. Our trainer told us to pinch up but to tilt the insert so it is more level which gives a deeper insertion , not more shallow. I don't let go of the pinch until I get the collar pulled back. I also hold the top of the sensor bracket firmly when snapping in the transmitter so not to move around the sensor in the skin.


    We also got ??? after a number of hours on the first sensor. Now, we rarely get them but after running it 12 days sometimes I will see it some.

    Also, make sure both toes of the transmitter are snapped in or it is not waterproof and causes the ???

    We use a bard wipe around in a circle with just alcohol. We also use liquid skin tac in the bottle to keep the tape down in the second week. We like the insertion much better than the Navigator.

    I have a 9 yr old and a 12 yr old that wear it. The 9 year old is very skinny but has no problems on it.
     
  9. ecs1516

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    We agree .
     
  10. moco89

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    Thanks for the tips!!!!

    I guess we have another user that has switched from the Navigator to the Dexcom. Hopefully it is going better!!!!

    I should be getting it via UPS Saturday or Monday. I can't wait!

    Also, I assume, the tape doesn't fall off as easily as the Navigator, even in the heat?

    I want to try it on the arm....
     
  11. Ruthellen

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    Thanks for all the tips! We inserted a new sensor today and it worked after around 3 hours. And, so far it's working pretty well!

    The rep did tell us that there are fewer capillaries in the arm so it will take longer for the ??? to clear before the arm is ready to calibrate. So the 2 hour startup really is for stomach only - the other areas will take a little longer at startup (it's still way shorter than the 10 hours we were dealing with!)

    We love the flexible calibration schedule!
     

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