1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2017 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Guest, Royal Holloway, University of London are conducting a study to understand how people with diabetes create and share knowledge online. Get involved here »
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Issues with Freestyle Libre

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

  1. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,252
    Likes Received:
    11,411
    Trophy Points:
    198
    The issue is that your statement "Abbott won't replace your sensor if it comes off your arm" is where the problem lies.

    Many people have had sensors replaced that have come off their arm, both on here and on many of the other groups.

    If it falls off due to adhesive failure with no assistance, then they replace. That's it. If they fall off because you are clumsy enough to bash it (however lightly) against a door frame, they have a different view.

    Use of one sensor is hardly a thorough test, and I think your zeal in criticising what many find to be an excellent product, with basically no experience of it, may be what is driving the responses.
     
  2. donnellysdogs

    donnellysdogs Type 1 · Master

    Messages:
    12,514
    Likes Received:
    12,055
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Crikey.. As a long teem critic of anything and everything concerning faults with pumps/cgms etc I am absolutely staggered at this criticism of Libre.

    Long term users of this forum will remember me for cricisong 2 of Accuchek sets that did get withdrawn. I also criticised the Freestyle Navigator CGM which is no longer available.. So I am really 100% at honest, open reviews and also certainly baing OTT on analysing everything.

    My libres have been absolutely superb.

    Yes the first one for 12 hours needs to settle in.. But thereafter just put another one in 12 hours early to settle in.

    I just put a strip of tubigrip over mine. Now seriously, if you keep the sensor in with correct pressure and length of time afterwards for the plaster to stick to skin for pulling off.. You should not have probs.

    Have showers etc but just be aware of not rubbing it with soap etc...don't challenge it to keep stuck whilst bathing/showering.

    I admit, I don't clean my skin with their wipe first as I am too impatient to put the sensor on.

    I have not had one single problem with falling off or inaccuracy.

    If someone is going to have a prob, it would be me. I hated the thought of libre because I had such probs with Navigator, all of which were reported to MHRA.

    If anybody could be critical I would be top of the list.. But for me I cannot give one fault at all. Think this is my 12th week now..
     
  3. Diabetic Diatribe

    Diabetic Diatribe Type 2 · Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    I owned and ran a medical supply business for 10 years, selling mainly online, with a miniscule turnover compared to multi-million pound multinational pharmaceutical company Abbott, that you all seem so keen to defend. God knows they need all the help that they can get, these multimillion pound multinational pharmaceutical companies!

    If a customer had an issue with a product that we sold them, a foetal doppler, a TENS machine for labour pains etc, we'd swap it out for them - if it was user error that caused the fault, we might charge postage for the reaplacement, but we'd always swap it out for them, for two reasons.

    1) It's the right thing to do. Some of us in business retain our sense of right and wrong.
    2) It makes sound business sense to keep the customer happy. They tell their friends about the great service they got, their friends come to you for their orders. You don't get slagged off on forums.

    In the case of Abbott, they have failed on both counts.

    They have failed to supply the tubigrip / tape / blu-tac etc required to keep the sensors in place and blame me for not knowing that this was needed. My sensor came off, as I have said, whilst walking about in my house. I know that we all like the 'just and fair world fallacy' that dictates that 'for this bad thing to happen to me, I must somehow be to blame' - however I am not at fault for walking through a door way. I am not clumsy. It was not a lack of care. The sensor caught on the door, not me.
    I know that lots of you don't need tape, for whatever reason. Clearly, I do. I'm bigger than average, taller and broader shouldered.... perhaps my doors are all less wide than standard - whatever the reason, I needed the tape to be able to use this product, it wasn't provided and I am now £50 down, unable to sing the praises of the product and unable to get the data I wanted.

    Have a look at the sensor on your arm now and see if you can see which part of it costs enough to Abbott for them to charge £50 plus? Is it the 12p worth of plastic or the 22p worth of electronics?
    They are charging a criminal mark up on these products as they have no like for like competitor.
    They could therefore, easily NOT fail on both counts and it would not even cost them any money. They would in fact make a small fortune from me alone as I would continue to (be forced) to pay their prices every 14 days.

    I'm pleased that you all love Abbott and their product so much. I loved it too for the first few hours, while it worked, whilst it was attached.
    Since then, my experience has been all negative.

    5 days to respond to a customer service email is not acceptable in 24/7 365 2016 - It displays either a customer service department who are overrun with complaints or a simple lack of care. Inexcusable.

    To not replace and place the blame with me, losing a customer and all that profit suggests they have no business sense, or that an awfully large number of people are having the same issue and so they cannot afford to replace suggests that they have too much business sense and not enough compassion. Either way, they are not a company that I shall patronise or endorse.

    Would you buy a new car if the wheel might come off if you accidentally nudged the kerb? which would be classed as your fault unless you had added a few extra bolts to hold the wheel in place?

    Would you think very highly of say, Ford's customer service department if they ignored you for 5 days and then said 'the new wheel's cost is down to you, it's your fault, unless it just fell off, in which case, yes, we'll replace it"!!!!!!!!!!!
    or would you expect a new car, designed to be driven on the roads, with kerbs, to be able to withstand such a commonplace occurrence?
     
  4. jinty73

    jinty73 Type 1 · Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    23
    I am in the process of a HUGE issue with Abbott!!!! I bought a sensor on 3rd Sept via paypal on their website. I received the email telling me that the payment had gone through and they were sending out my sensor. Three weeks later i got demands from Abbott wanted paid again for the sensor as they were claiming that there had been an issue with paypal and they hadn't received the payment. I have been getting bombarded by them with emails demanding money despite the fact that i have emailed them copies of my bank statement, my paypal statement and any other piece of evidence that i could find to prove that i have paid for the sensor!!!!! The money was taken from my bank account on 6th Sept by paypal who then paid Abbott but not as far as Abbott are concerned. The harassment i'm getting from them is horrific to the point that i am about to go to a lawyer to stop them contacting me. I've even spoken to paypal who just yesterday told me that i need to stick to my guns as the payments were made and i've nothing further to pay out. This is a warning to all who pay for their sensors via Paypal, this is no slant on paypal but Abbott are using this as their excuse for not having the money by telling me 'we have been having issues with paypal payments'. Two days ago they sent me a paypal payment request for the sensor and i'm now ignoring them. I'll see them in court if this continues but please anyone reading this be assured I PAID THEM IN FULL AND ALL EVIDENCE CLEARLY SHOWS THIS. I thought at one point that the whole thing was a fraudulent attempt to rip me off but it was confirmed that this is indeed Abbott who are contacting me. So no sensors for me just now as i can't use Abbott and the sensors on eBay are £70+, oh joy!!!!!!
     
  5. Snapsy

    Snapsy Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,346
    Likes Received:
    2,531
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Regarding the doorway issue, with the sensor on the back of my arm it points exactly behind me, with plenty of back-of-arm all around it (although I'm very slim) so there is no part of the sensor which can touch any of my oft-used door frames when I'm walking straight though them. There is absolutely no overlap of sensor and side of arm, so my door frames aren't really a risk. The biggest potential risks to mine that I have theoretically identified so far (in that I have thought 'ah, must be careful of that') have been firstly vigorous towel-drying of body and secondly getting my arms into my very stretchy swimming costume or other top-half tight Lycra sportswear.

    I'd only have a problem with door frames if I was going through a doorway at an angle - which is of course certainly possible if it's a door with a left or right turn immediately after it.

    I will say that I ask someone else to apply my sensors to my arms for me. If I did it myself I am not certain I would necessarily reliably hit the optimum location. As it stands, so far, so good for me regarding the risk of door frame detachment of sensor.

    I am very pleased with my Libre. My reader does habitually read higher than my blood glucose readings, and the darn sensors are a right ***** to get off. Neither of these things is a problematic issue for me - I can deal well with them. I use the line and the arrow to guide me more often than the number. And I use it in tandem with my meter.

    Couldn't be without it. For me it's not an 'instead of' tester - it's a crucial additional tool in my own diabetes armoury which I would have sleepless nights without.

    :)
     
    • Like Like x 2
    #45 Snapsy, Oct 7, 2016 at 5:28 PM
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2016
  6. Gpad

    Gpad · Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    23
    To be honest this now sounds like a personal grudge against pharmaceutical companies rather than the specific issue of a senor falling off your arm, from what I understand you've knocked the sensor and it's come off, I've knocked my sensor a few times but it hasn't come off, swings and roundabouts.

    Also, I think we're all aware of how this business works, you only need to compare at how much a packet of Anadin costs to how much a packet of supermarket painkillers costs so nobody needs to be patronised into having it explained how overly expensive this particular product is (research and development is an expensive business though and the company will need to pay for that somehow), it will get cheaper in time and may be available for free at some point on the NHS. I've never had any problems with the Libre so far and there's thousands of people of similar viewpoint I'd imagine, otherwise there would be more complaints than there are now. Nobody is forcing anyone to use it, if it works for you, great, if not, then don't use it. It's really that simple.
     
  7. Diabetic Diatribe

    Diabetic Diatribe Type 2 · Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Gpad - Just to clarify, I have no grudge against any pharma companies, not sure where you got that idea from? and if it's patronising to spell out the horrific mark up, where does that leave telling us all 'you can use it or not, up to you'? lol...

    Their R and D costs are very much their problem, no?
    There are plenty of people complaining about the sensors, you don't need to look far.

    Abbott's appalling lack of customer service is my complaint, I took the matter to an independent arbitrator and they upheld the complaint and forced Abbott Industries to give me a full refund which I have now received.

    So, they've lost a customer - for no good reason other than sloppy design and poor customer service.

    It really is that simple.
     
  8. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,252
    Likes Received:
    11,411
    Trophy Points:
    198
    @Diabetic Diatribe have you provided Abbott with some design improvements they could make to improve the product given your certainty there is a design fault?
     
  9. Diabetic Diatribe

    Diabetic Diatribe Type 2 · Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Design improvements are all over this very thread. Neither you nor they, especially after their expensive years of R and D, could miss the tubiflex / tape addition that has been suggested to me on this and every other forum I posted on, surely?

    It's the amount of users who state that this addition is the obvious solution to the problem and one that they all claim to use, that suggested to me that my situation was clearly not a 'one off'' or my favourite, 'user error' but a design issue with the sensor itself.
     
  10. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 · Oracle

    Messages:
    16,209
    Likes Received:
    25,504
    Trophy Points:
    278
    I am quite sure that if the complaints of sensors falling off were of enough magnitude Abbott would provide tape. That would make good business sense, and one I'm sure Abbott is business-savvy enough to appreciate.

    I have used 4 sensors and on my 5th at the moment. My only problem has been removing them at the end of the 2 weeks. I have knocked them and I have caught them when removing tops with sleeves. I have been in a hot tub with one on (as has at least one other person I know of on the forum) and kept it on. I don't attach it myself. I ask my husband to do that because it must be quite difficult to attach it correctly using one hand.
     
  11. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,689
    Likes Received:
    27,563
    Trophy Points:
    278
    Out of curiosity, i left my last but one sensor on, after it expired - to see how long it would take to fall off.
    Took no special care of it, slept without sleeves, forgot it was on, actually.
    It finally fell off on day 29, a full 15 days after the end of its official 14 day life.

    But then, I had it positioned (as per the instructions) in a place where I didn't catch it on doorframes...
    As shown on the sensor application video on this page.
    https://www.freestylelibre.com.au/page/overview/watch-videos/
     
  12. Diabetic Diatribe

    Diabetic Diatribe Type 2 · Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Just to save anyone else posting their story of how long their sensor stayed on for or how and where they put it, please read the previous posts first. I've already more than refuted all the points made in all of today's posts, re: Abbotts lack of business savvy, the design fault and how to fix it, how long it should or shouldn't stay on for, what you can or can't do when wearing them etc etc. and no-ones personal testimony is going to make any difference to the outcome of the investigation by the independent arbitrator that found Abbott at fault and forced them to send me a full refund nor will it make any difference to my experience of them and their customer service, which was all negative.

    I'm happy for those of you that had a good experience, I empathise with those of you that didn't.

    I posted MY experience, mainly because I promised Abbott customer service that I would, not because I wanted to debate it.

    I am more than happy to accept that most of you are happy with the product, but that bears no relation to my complaint, which, as say, was upheld.
     
  13. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,689
    Likes Received:
    27,563
    Trophy Points:
    278
    Worry not, this thread was created to discuss anyone's Libre experiences and issues - not just yours. :)
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Diabetic Diatribe

    Diabetic Diatribe Type 2 · Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Thanks! I was beginning to feel like a Hillary supporter at a Trump rally there......
     
  15. helensaramay

    helensaramay Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,071
    Likes Received:
    773
    Trophy Points:
    153
    I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to trial the freestyle libre. As part of this trial, I had to sit through a sales pitch but in return I received advice direct from Abbott on how to use the libre, a free reader and one free sensor.
    Amongst the advice the gentleman from Abbott gave were
    - your body may react to the sensor at first. Therefore, for some people it will take 24 hours for the readings to "calm down". Therefore of the 14 days, there may only be 13 days of useful data
    - don't be tempted to attach a sensor to your other arm on day 13 to overcome the calm-down period. The reader cannot cope with two sensors in close proximity.
    - the reason for the "pre-injection swab" is to ensure nothing goes into your skin with the sensor. This includes soaps, detergents and shower gels which are often shown to effect the BG reading
    - as part of the trial, if the sensor falls off (which it did), I was entitled to one free replacement
    - if you the sensor falls off at any other time, you are entitled to two free replacements. This was clearly not 2 replacements for every sensor so I am not sure what time period
    - you should NOT (the reps capitalisation, not mine), stick anything to the sensor. This may effect the readings and removal of the sticky tape may pull out the sensor.
    - he recommended some vet tape which sticks to itself but not your skin (or sensor) and costs £1 from Wilko. Something similar seems to be available on line for a similar price but costs £2.99 for P&P
    - to get standards approval for the libre, it has to be 11% accurate.
    - it is only approved to be warn between the elbow and shoulder
    - it cannot replace finger-pricks for pre-driving readings but Abbott are campaigning with the DVLA to change this
    - the reading is about 5 minutes delay from finger pricks ... which is better than old cgms which were 15-20 minutes out.
    - the reader can be used as a finger prick tester and has the same accuracy as the sensor

    And now for a question to the community:
    - there was some talk at the start of this thread about calibrating the libre. How is this done? Do you use calibration fluid with a finger prick? Or is this an "off-line" calibration that you do in your head after comparing with your usual meter?
     
  16. donnellysdogs

    donnellysdogs Type 1 · Master

    Messages:
    12,514
    Likes Received:
    12,055
    Trophy Points:
    298
    That is absolute rubbish about don't put in another sensor on 13th day as being too close!!
    I only have one usable arm for sensors to go in. They go in less than an inch apart on 13th day. The 1st sensor continues absolutely as normal!! The second does not interfere at all and is not actually activated until the old one is removed.

    That rep was talking nonsense..
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. AndBreathe

    AndBreathe I reversed my Type 2 · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,696
    Likes Received:
    15,748
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Hello there.

    I can't speak for everyone else, but I always "calibrate" my sensor by undertaking a few sensor scans and finger-prick tests, with the relevant gaps to ascertain how closely the numbers are. For me, some have been very close and others well out. If the difference is consistent, that's not so bad and can be factored by adding or subtracting a margin from the the number on the reader scan. If it's highly erratic, then for me, it's a bit of a chat with Abbott.

    I have always found the Abbott responses to be fair, based on my findings and subsequent presentation of the data to them.
     
  18. normsew

    normsew Type 1 · Newbie

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    41
    I an a pump user and have been using the libre sensor on and off since being involved in the trial of the phone app. I find results acceptably close to finger prick readings and love the freedom it gives from daily finger pricks.

    I will continue to "treat myself" to libre sensors for use on special occasions such as holidays and business trips away as I cannot justify the expense of self funding. It seems that the cost of the sensor (circa £50 with VAT releif plus postage) has been pitched to be equivalent to the purchase price of 14 days of blood strips charged by the manufacturers of strips.

    It can be expensive if the sensor is dislodged/falls off during the 2 week of usage which has happened twice now. I am just trying "Skin Tac" which has been recomended by the diabetic nurse.

    One note of caution, (not related to Abbot in any way) that I would like to share is that if you buy a replacement or upgrade to a more powerful battery for your phone, make sure that it has a NFC (near field communication) aerial as some batteries don't. This is required to transmit the signal from the phone to the app.
     
  19. helensaramay

    helensaramay Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,071
    Likes Received:
    773
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Thanks @AndBreathe. I read the documentation that came with the Libre and their online Q&A but had not found any instructions to calibrate the sensors. Now I understand that the calibration is done manually on every reading ... which us what I meant by "offline". This makes sense. Glad I was not missing something.
     
  20. normsew

    normsew Type 1 · Newbie

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    41
    I will continue to "treat myself" to libre sensors for use on

    It can be expensive if the sensor is dislodged/falls off during the 2 week of usage which has happened twice now. I am just trying "Skin Tac" which has been recomended by the diabetic nurse.
    [/QUOTE]

    Update on skin tac

    My sensor expired yesterday after two weeks. happy to report that skin tac applied to arm before sensor made the sensor adhere very well. it was so well stuck that when I removed the sensor the sensor patch remained attached to my arm!
    I will be using skin tac with every sensor in future.
    Abbot should include a free skin tac wipe with each sensor.
     
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook