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Issues with Freestyle Libre

Discussion in 'Blood Glucose Monitoring' started by kzlorenz, Apr 1, 2016.

  1. Robbity

    Robbity Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Out of six sensors since the end of January, I've had two DOA - both failing to start at all. The others have stuck like limpets, been very erratic with very low readings on and off overnight for the first 48 hours, and then have been fairly consistentlyaround 0.5 - 1.5 points lower than my Contour Next meter - which I can accept since I've really been looking for general patterns. In this respect it's actually giving me very similar but much more detailed information to that I'm seeing from my Contour's finger prick tests. However, I'll continue to use my meter as the Libre HbA1c predictions put me well into the non diabetic range when my actual test results show that I very obviously am not.

    Robbity
     
  2. AndBreathe

    AndBreathe I reversed my Type 2 · Moderator
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    BGW, Abbott themselves don't recommend that individuals make changes involving their insulin dosage or driving etc., based upon the Libre. Indeed, it is not approved by the DVLA for driving decisions. Any such decisions need to be based on finger prick testing.

    It does give great trend information, and it has taught me a lot, even though my bloods were in a decent place before I started using it.
     
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  3. 1abRat

    1abRat Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    With a difference of 3-4 mmol/L Abbott would almost certainly have replaced that sensor as faulty.

    They're very helpful and responsive if you ring them, don't bother with email as they take ages to reply.
     
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  4. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Moderator
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    Once again, the customer service guys talking total rubbish. It has never been 40%. It has always been 15% and they simply couldn't market it if 40% was the number they were using at the low end, that could result in someone showing a 4 when they were really 2.2 and would open up lawsuits.
     
  5. philhale

    philhale · Newbie

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    I found the same differences with results between their sensor and my previous (manual) blood tester.
    Readings are usually slightly lower than my old blood meter and when below around 6, it's MUCH lower than my meter, sometimes as low as 2.6 when the bloods where 5.3. If my bloods where actually 2.6, I would have really felt it, and it definitely wasn't that low. (I've been diabetic for 24 years)

    I got my first package with one meter and four sensors a few weeks ago, but TODAY I lost THREE sensors:
    - Sensor One: worked fine for the 2 weeks.
    - Sensor Two: stopped working today, after 6 days, for no reason. They will replace it.
    - Sensor Three: started today, didn't work AT ALL, just had error message. They will replace it.
    - Sensor Four: started today, I accidentally knocked it on a wall corner after 3 hours and it came flying off. No replacement as it was my error.
    When I phoned they where very helpful and will send two replacement sensors, but I'm not that happy with it.
    Great when it works, a real help... but so far unreliable and it's expensive.
    New technology, hopefully will get better. :)
     
  6. Diabetic Diatribe

    Diabetic Diatribe Type 2 · Member

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    My experience of the Freestyle Libre sensors, used with my Samsung Galaxy S5 Neo and the Abbott Industries App, has been very negative - although the first few hours were fun and gave me some great insight. The problem is that the sensors are just too easy to dislodge and they CANNOT BE RE-ATTACHED - not even once. I say that in CAPS because Abbott Industries don't want you to know that your £50 is wasted once the damn thing won't stick or gets the slightest knock in the shower. They will not refund because, get this 'the seal is broken'. How you are supposed to get it on to see if it works without breaking the seal, taking it out and sticking it on your arm, they failed to explain. My sensor only lasted a few hours before getting the slightest of knocks on the door frame as I walked through carrying a tray. The Freestyle Libre Sensors cannot be reapplied once they come out. I repeat. the Freestyle Libre Sensors CANNOT BE STUCK BACK ON they are single use, if it comes off your arm at any point in the 14 days (the could see I had only had mine ONE DAY) you have to give Abbott Industries another £50 for a new one!!!.
    If it gets knocked out, Abbot Industries will, if they bother to answer at all - (they ignored my first three emails to customer services for a week despite a quoted 48 hour response time) simply quote their terms and conditions at you, saying that it's your fault for "damaging the item". The sensor was not and is not damaged in any way, it was still half stuck to my arm, but no longer gives readings and so is a £50 waste of money. So, inaccurate readings - don't know. Appalling customer service, definitely. Waste of £50 I can ill afford, yes.

    It's a serious design fault and one that the company would appear to be aware of....

    Why else turn away some £65,000 per user for a simple £50 refund?
    1 diabetic using one sensor per fortnight @ £50 per sensor for 50 years is £65,000 revenue to Abbott Industries. Even a years use would be £1,300 to them - If these sensors stuck properly, they would hardly ever come off, refunds or replacements would be negligible in cost and so they would, sensibly, replace them in this rare event. If, however, as I suspect - they have a HUGE number of Libre Freestyle sensors coming unstuck and customers asking for replacements - it would be a huge cost. It must be a HUGE number for them to NOT offset it against the potential £65,000 per patient that they are likely to receive.

    It's my belief that if they had to refund every faulty sensor and every sensor that gets knocked off / washed off / won't stick (the forums are full of tales of woe) that Abbott Industries would go bust and so they are now telling their previously allegedly very helpful customer services staff to refuse refunds.

    Avoid the Abbott Freestyle Libre at all costs - it's a great gadget, with huge potential, but has a design flaw that the company won't take responsibility for and that is hugely expensive.
     
  7. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    While I respect your right to an opinion, I object to you warning people off the Libre because of your own short experience. I feel your comments are largely unfounded.

    Many people on this forum have excellent experiences with the Libre, myself included. I have used over 10 sensors now, and the only two that have detached were my own bloomin' fault. I certainly don't blame Abbot for creating a sensor that detaches when scraped against a doorframe. I would MUCH rather the sensor came off than sections of my skin, attached to the sensor.

    I have also read many posts on this forum by people who have had successful dealings with Abbot's customer service, with replacement sensors and even test strips being sent out to help with calibration.

    Did you come and make your first post on the forum just to criticise Abbot? If so, I recommend you read some of the numerous Libre threads we have had over the last couple of years. You will find that experiences vary with a wide cross section of experiences, and that many people are happy with the Libre and the added control it has given them.
     
  8. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Moderator
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    @Diabetic Diatribe, you are obviously also not familiar with any CGM system. No provider of CGM will refund a sensor knocked off by the user. It's your own fault. It's also how the system works. If the adhesive fails, all the CGM makers will replace within the life of the sensor. If you walk into a doorframe, you haven't taken enough care.

    There is a duty of care involved in using something like this and you have a certain level of personal responsibility for the item. If you think that you don't, then frankly, I can see why Abbott, or anyone else, is happy for you not to be a customer.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. Diabetic Diatribe

    Diabetic Diatribe Type 2 · Member

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    I'm not sure why you bothered replying with that, TBH? "Different people have different experiences" Was that your point?
    I thought this was a forum, not a fan club. Is it only positive reviews allowed?

    My experience with the sensors has been they do not stay attached when I am going about my normal day to day business. Walking through a door carrying a tray isn't exactly an extreme sport is it?

    If Abbot take a week to reply to my email, despite a promised 48 hour reply, I'll call them out on appalling customer service. If they refuse to replace or refund a faulty/ badly designed product and i will call them out on that too. If they lack the most basic business sense, I'll mock them for stupidity as well - All day long.

    You can line up as many happy users as you want, it doesn't affect my experience - which is hardly unique from what a huge number of other users have stated. The sensors should not need tape to hold them in place - if they do it should be provided by Abbott. Keep drinking the Kool Aid and blame yourself for their bad design if you like.
     
  10. Diabetic Diatribe

    Diabetic Diatribe Type 2 · Member

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    I have all of the experience of CGMs that I need thanks. It's sad that you think they because they haven't, as an industry, solved the problem of sensors being too easy to detach, that this automatically makes it the consumers fault. It does not. At the horrendous mark up that they apply, they could comfortably prioritise customer service here and replace them if this happens. But no, you keep blaming yourself (and now me) for their bad design and coughing up your fortnightly £50

    I didn't walk in to a door frame - I walked through it.

    Abbott are totally responsible for the design of their products - designed to be worn day and night by adults and children alike - going about their normal day to day business. If that is not possible, then, clearly the product is not fit for purpose.
     
  11. Gemma2

    Gemma2 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    You sound very angry and bitter about Abbott. In 99% of the sensors falling it is the wearers fault! Put some clear tape over the sensor and short piece on your arm. Problem solved,
     
  12. Diabetic Diatribe

    Diabetic Diatribe Type 2 · Member

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    In what way is it the wearers fault in 99% of the cases? (and how could you possibly know?)
    If it needs tape over the sensor and arm to function as intended, then it's a design fault - by your own words.

    As in "When they designed it they forgot the tape that everyone says you need"

    Having read up to see how to re-attach the sensor at the time, to find that this wasn't possible - I heard about the tape solution on another forum. Figured I'd use that on the replacement sensor, that I am now, not getting.
     
  13. Gemma2

    Gemma2 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It isn't a design fault. Common sense should follow if you have knocked it off.
     
  14. June_C

    June_C Prefer not to say · Well-Known Member

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    May I ask how many sensors you have used ?
     
  15. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Moderator
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    @Diabetic Diatribe, given there are many thousands of people seemingly using the Libre and other CGMs with fewer problems than you, and cannulas for insulin pumps, which are arguably far more important than CGM, with pretty few issues, your assessment seems very much angry and upset.

    Typically, as has been mentioned, most people are able to keep sensors on for at least the duration stated without additional tape. I've certainly found that they were hard to remove after 14 days. I've also found that they tended to survive a light collision, if not a heavy one, unsurprisingly.

    It is far less likely to be a design fault than bad luck on your part.
     
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  16. Diabetic Diatribe

    Diabetic Diatribe Type 2 · Member

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    Common sense, even your own, stated that it needs tape to stay on. Did yours come with tape?
     
  17. Diabetic Diatribe

    Diabetic Diatribe Type 2 · Member

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    The simple fact that it came off so quickly and easily just walking in my house and cannot be re-applied, at £50 a go, no matter what anyone says, no matter if you've all used them for six lifetimes without issue, a fault of the design - not the user.

    Vauxhall sell many thousands more 'Zafiras' than Abbott sell 'Freestyle Libres'.
    The vast majority of those Zafiras do not spontaneously burst into flames.
    Some do.
    It's a design fault.

    I suspect there is a vauxhall-people-carriers.co.uk forum somewhere where people are posting their praise of their Vauxhall Zafira, telling someone, "We've driven ours for 20 years and it's never blown up on us, it must be your fault" . But it isn't their fault. It's a design fault.

    Vauxhall manned up and recalled. Abbott said 'unlucky'.

    I'd never be seen dead in a Zafira anyhow and now I'll never use an Abbott product either.

    Not sure why any of you care either way,
     
  18. Diabetic Diatribe

    Diabetic Diatribe Type 2 · Member

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    There are a lot of unlucky Zafira drivers in the world
    You can't have fewer than one problem.
    I've only had one sensor, one problem, badly handled.
    I've shared that with people who, like me, may come to these sites to research before they buy.
    They are now aware that Abbott won't replace the sensor if it comes off your arm.
    They will read that, in my experience, the sensors come off very easily
    They will read that lots of experienced Freestylers use tape to keep it on.
    They can decide if this the hi-tech solution they thought it was.
     
  19. June_C

    June_C Prefer not to say · Well-Known Member

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    I think, bearing in mind this was your first sensor, you shouldn't be so hard on Abbott and give them and the sensors a fair chance. If you're wearing one, you have to be conscious of this and strive to keep your arm out of the way, boisterous grandchildren in my case.

    I've got through approximately 45 sensors. One I pulled off whilst dressing (my fault), one quickly came unstuck (replaced by Abbott) and two that gave ridiculous readings (replaced by Abbott)

    4 failures out of 45 is good going as far as I'm concerned and I don't use tape btw.

    You've just been unlucky, but I don't think you should condemn Abbott by just your first experience.
     
  20. AndBreathe

    AndBreathe I reversed my Type 2 · Moderator
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    I'm not sure how your conversation with Abbott went, but I have only had one sensor of many fall off. It dropped off my arm, down my dressing gown sleeve one morning. Abbott replaced mine, having taken me through their usual enquiring, questioning process.

    Of course, you are at liberty to make whatever decisions you like about whether or not you continue as an Abbott customer, but to make a generalisation that Abbott won't replace a sensor that drops off is not my experience.

    Good luck with your condition.
     
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