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Freestyle Libre sensor

Discussion in 'Blood Glucose Monitoring' started by JammyDixon, Oct 23, 2017.

  1. JammyDixon

    JammyDixon · Member

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    Hi,

    I have recently started using the Freestyle Libre and I’m having a couple of problems with the sensor, first one is within half an hour my first one fell off, I waiting two weeks for a replacement and again it started to peel off within about 2 hours. I have used Tegaderm to keep it in place. However this is part of the second problem, I did a reading not long ago and it was reading at 4.7, which is impossible because about an hour before hand I was at 13. I did a finger blood test and I was reading at 10.6.

    Could it be the dressing causing the sensor to give inaccurate readings or something else?

    Wondering if anyone else is having problems with it, and anyone who has been using it for a while, is there anything I can do to keep it in place? (Placement, dressings, tape, bandage etc)

    Any help appreciated Thanks

    Chris Dixon
     
  2. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod · Moderator
    Staff Member

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    Hi there.

    A number if people have reported a sensor being inaccurate when compared with their finger prick tests.

    If this situation isn't just a one-off reading, and the sensor has been on for more than 24 hours, the I suggest you call the Abbott Support line and discuss it with them. When I had to do that, they offered to replace the sensor, free of charge.

    It is useful to have a few examples of scans versus readings you have done when you talk to them, so that you're not troubled by scrolling back through the scanner/reader and/or meter whilst on the phone.

    I hope it settles down, but if not, give them a call.
     
  3. JammyDixon

    JammyDixon · Member

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    To be honest it has only been on for 7 hours so far, so it could still be calibrating maybe? I will see how it’s doing after 24 hours and give them a ring, although this one is already a replacement so will likely have to pay for the next one

    Thanks for the advice
     
  4. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod · Moderator
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    Abbott usually suggest giving a seemingly inaccurate post be given 24 hours to settle.

    I've had a number of sensors replaced for a raft of reasons. Unless you were using the sensor on an unapproved site; i.e. not one the back of your upper arm, or by some other means going against their instructions, the I don't see how this could be your fault.

    Best not to pre-judge outcomes.

    It would be good if the sensor settled though.
     
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  5. AlexMagd

    AlexMagd Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Most people here suggest leaving an applied sensor on for 24 - 48 hours before activating to let it settle, but with figures that far out I'd definitely call Abbott if it doesn't improve. I use tegaderm on mine and have never noticed any effect on the actual readings
     
  6. dazwalshe

    dazwalshe Type 1 · Active Member

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    I am on my 19th Sensor... pretty much all of them seem to take 12+ hrs to settle down...I applied a new one last night... readings where out by about 6-7...this morning when I wake now within tolerance (+- 1 mmol) all good. A couple have failed, notably after the initial 60 minute activation...Abbott's have always replaced, even when the replacement ones have also failed, they still replace. I have to say my experiences with the customer service have always been first class. I'm pleased to say that apart from one that I knocked off on a door frame and one that came loose in the height of summer whilst cycling (very sweaty!) I have had no issues with the adhesion - even at 2 weeks some of them are still a bugger to get off!!
    Good luck!
     
  7. JoCo

    JoCo · Member

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    My reader failed after the 3rd sensor and was replaced free, as it most certainly should be. I am now on my 6th sensor. The fifth fell off after a shower. All the others were actually difficult to remove. Make sure you really clean the area with the alcohol swabs to remove any skin fats that may affect sticking. The first days reading are always the most inaccurate according to the stats in the instructions. So I apply the sensor, then leave it overnight to settle before the initial read to start it. Ready in 60 mins thereafter. Unexpected results can occur for several reasons. A failed sensor. But I haven't seen this. Low results are also more inaccurate according to the instructions.Rapidly changing glusoses. If you have recently eaten or injected or exercised then don't expect the two to match. You must rely on the finger test in these instances. There is a 10 minute delay after eating food before it begins to be absorbed into the blood. Then another 5 to 10 minutes for the blood glucose to reach the tissues around the sensor. So, a 10 to 20 min delay. Lastly both devices can have at least a 10% error on the readings. And upto 20 percent is allowable for some of the time. So there is plenty of potential there for disparate results. Also some drugs and conditions such as dehydration can affect the finger test. I use the sensor, but I ldon't rely on it. I look more at the glucose direction and the rate of increase or decrease on the graph. It is pretty useful to assess each batch of insulin, which does seem to vary rather a lot in my experience.
     
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  8. Bill_St

    Bill_St Type 1 · Active Member

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    There are a number of ways to help adhesion and accuracy.
    As mentioned above apply 24 hours before activation. That allows any insertion trauma to subside. You still get the 14 days of operation. But you don’t get the big variations sometimes found in the early hours.
    Always shave the area if necessary.
    Always clean well with the two alcohol wipes supplied but then it is absolutely critical to ensure they have completely dried.
    I use a hairdryer to ensure this and also warm the skin which helps adhesion.
    Press the two parts of the applicator together firmly.
    When using the applicator, press firmly and hold down for 10seconds to give the adhesive time to bond.
    Follow all of that and your next problem is getting it off after 14 days. If baby oil does not work, try WD40 ;)
    There is a good guide from Abbott. Google “Libre adhesive guide”
     
  9. stayingalive

    stayingalive · Member

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    I've also had problems with it staying on if I swim several times during the fortnight, (never more than half an hour. I've read the instructions!) especially in summer, or exercise using my triceps (the muscles under the back of the arm). Also once or twice it has partially fallen off, but not completely, and given me "low " readings until I realised a) I wasn't low and b) it was in the process of falling off. But it does give me a bit of a rash if it gets a bit loose but stays on. Once or twice it has really been quite nasty and itchy by the end of the fortnight, but its worth it for how much better I feel for having better blood sugar control. Tegaderm does help.

    Freestyle libre is also much better than test strips if you are cold - only sea swimming in the winter has ever led mine to say its too cold to give a reading - whereas I can't get blood out of my fingers if I am just a bit on the chilly side.
    I'm still hoping the NHS will pay for it next month, as I spend less on it than they did on test strips (I was checking 10-12 times a day before I had it). My HBa1c has come down by 10 points, and it's saving the NHS money - has anyone succeeded in getting them to pay??
     
  10. Heather_5

    Heather_5 · Newbie

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    Hi Chris, I have used this a couple of times now. I found for the first day it was as bit out but settled after that, also tried putting the sensor in and activating it after 24 hours which showed a marginal improvement in early readings. Make sure you clean the area well with the swab and dry the skin before inserting the sensor. Good luck, Freestyle is on the right track with this!
     
  11. Omnipod

    Omnipod Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I have used FL from the first day it came out. I sometimes have the odd sensor that is problematic. I found if I’m dehydrated, my readings can be a bit all over the place. I usually drink a few glasses of water before and just after starting a sensor.
    Thesedays I’m only 1 or 2mmol out between interstitial and blood.

    I also start sensors when fasting so first thing in the morning and at least a couple of hours before food.
     
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  12. tom0709

    tom0709 Type 2 · Newbie

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    The problem is with the captor. It gives false readings: either too high or too low. I contacted Abbott Diabetic Care Unit and have been told that there are problems with the captor. I stopped using it and am now back to the old finger-pricking. Unfortunately using Freestyle Libre is not possible as one doesn't know which way it will be going.
     
  13. fletchweb

    fletchweb Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting the question and all the responses. My sister told me just yesterday that she was getting one. How timely for this thread. So I cut and pasted everyone's responses and emailed them to her. I keep telling her to register for this site and read the forums but in my family the best you can do is suggest - hopefully one of these days she will.

    Have a great weekend everyone!
     
  14. GavinTully

    GavinTully Type 1 · Newbie

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    I’m so annoyed today. On holiday and with all the swimming, showering and sunbathing, after 7 days I knocked my sensor off the car door and knocked it off my arm. Only my 3rd sensor, all stuck on very well so far.
     
  15. JammyDixon

    JammyDixon · Member

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    I have now started to get more accurate readings they are about 0.2 difference when I check with the finger prick so it’s not to bad, I have a feeling it’s not going to stay on for the full 2 weeks, the dressings I have on my arm are slowly starting to come off as well.

    I’ll keep everyone updated on how it’s getting on
     
  16. Ledzeptt

    Ledzeptt Type 3c · Well-Known Member

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    @JoCo @Omnipod

    Thanks for the tip about dehydration.

    I’ve been using the Libre since April with few problems and generally find the sensor to be approx 0.5 below my Contour Next, which is Ok. The gap is wider in the morning; perhaps when I’m less hydrated.

    Interestingly, I’ve been ill this week (hospitalised) and initially my (established) sensor was -3.0 out, improving to -1.4 over a couple of days. I thought it was to related to my illness, perhaps the strong antibiotics. However, I was severely de-hydrated and was put on an IV (Hardman’s) for two days when admitted; so this suggests a better correlation. As the sensor measures interstitial fluid, it makes sense that a lack of fluid will impact the measurements.
     
  17. charliebarker

    charliebarker Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I use body glue and apply it directly to the sensor pad before application - so far so good, 2 have stayed on for the full two weeks ! The three previous ones had all come off within a week!!
     
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