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CGM Sensor Stretchers

Discussion in 'Blood Glucose Monitoring' started by Spiker, Sep 17, 2014.

  1. Spiker

    Spiker Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I thought I would make a thread similar to all those other famous recurring threads, you know the ones - "Just how brilliant am I today?", "No seriously, just how brilliant am I?", and "Hey gang, let's upload our daily bowel movements!"

    The theme of my thread however will be how many sessions you can get out of your CGM sensor to "stretch" its lifetime. All forms of sensors are welcome, including "flash" sensors as well as traditional CGMs. "How to" and "Epic fail" posts are welcome, and general "stretching" topics, as well as the basic meat and drink of marking off sensor sessions [and transmitter lifetimes].

    And please remember to keep it friendly and light hearted at all times. It's not a competition, but I'm definitely going to win. :-D
     
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    #1 Spiker, Sep 17, 2014 at 11:32 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2014
  2. Spiker

    Spiker Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Let me go first (no, after you!).

    Just started my 4th session on this Dexcom G4 sensor. So that's the 4th week of continuous use just starting. I'm quite excited as I have never completed a 4th session before. The pressure is on. I really should do some tape surgery on the sensor as well. I bunged on some Micropore this morning after my shower but I really should do the full monty with the Tegaderm. Too knackered now so maybe tomorrow.

    And I've set myself up to wake up at 2am to do the starting calibrations. Oh joy!

    The 3rd session was uncannily accurate, usually within 0.1 mmol/L of the finger stick meter even at higher values. I wonder if that will hold up. Here goes!
     
  3. Engineer88

    Engineer88 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Im ending my 3rd today. This is a good stretch for me! however in the last 3 hours Ive only had about an hour of readings and am now on ??? I'm going to hold out now until i get home so thats 8 hours away (ish)

    This has also been a very well behaved sensor :)
     
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  4. CarbsRok

    CarbsRok Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    This one has been in for almost 3 weeks very accurate so far. :)
     
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  5. DunePlodder

    DunePlodder Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    My best was 49 days. I seem to be able to do a month quite comfortably.
    Makes a big difference cost wise!
     
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  6. Flowerpot

    Flowerpot Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Limbering up in tight lycra to represent team Medtronic Enlite ....

    I can only get 6 days plus 22 hours out of each sensor, full stop. I can't complete with your epic sensor times, however my transmitter lasted for 3 years 2 months before needing to be replaced, it only has a 6 month guarantee so that's a plus. If I was self funding I would obviously look for the longest sensor time but my clinic only deals with Medtronic so that is beyond my control. Accuracy wise I have found Medtronic to be really accurate especially since changing to Enlite sensors often spot on or within 0.1 or 0.2 mmol/L of blood glucose.

    Do you have to remove the Dexcom transmitter and recharge it at the end of each normal sensor session or does it hold enough charge to keep transmitting for weeks on end? I presume my signal fails because the transmitter needs recharging but I have tried to re-link it back to an expired sensor once recharged but sadly no joy.
     
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  7. DunePlodder

    DunePlodder Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    There is no way to recharge them. The transmitter is warranted for 6 months. I hear that users get between 10 to 12 months. I'm in month 8.
    You then have to buy a new transmitter - £325! I'm budgeting about £30/month.

    I'm sure they could have made it rechargeable/replaceable, the previous Dexcom 7 Plus had a rechargeable battery though much less transmitter range than the G4.
     
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  8. CarbsRok

    CarbsRok Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    The Dexcom transmitter has a 6 month warranty, and doesn't need to be recharged at all. From a previous thread I asked how long they lived for and the general opinion was about 13 months :)
     
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  9. Spiker

    Spiker Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It would be good to report transmitter lifetimes here too. I have yet to run one through to normal end of life but when I do I will check the invoice from ATP or Animas to see when I started it.

    Does anyone keep a spare transmitter and does the warranty run from the day you buy it or the day you pull it out of the packaging (which is what starts the battery depleting)?
     
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  10. Spiker

    Spiker Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    And the crowd goes wild!!! :)
     
  11. Spiker

    Spiker Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    No you just send a Stop / Start command from the Receiver and wait two hours. You actually can't remove the sensor. Once you do that the session is finished as you can't reinsert the sensor cannula.
     
  12. Engineer88

    Engineer88 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Anyone else sometimes wish they could try out other systems to see 'the other side?'
     
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  13. CarbsRok

    CarbsRok Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    From what I understand the warranty starts from the day of delivery.
     
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  14. Spiker

    Spiker Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Actually yes.
     
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  15. Spiker

    Spiker Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    At the start of week 4 I really should have done a reinforcing job on the tape. I didn't, and the sensor was looking decidedly wobbly in the shower this morning so I went for a full repair job. For those unfamiliar with the process, the number one limitation on G4 sensor stretching is not the electronics, it's the sticky.

    My first Tip To Self for a repair job is get all the tape and sticky you need opened and cut and prepped as much as humanly possible. Why? Because during the tape repair operation you are going to be holding the sensor onto you with one hand and doing all the repair work with the other hand. And one slip means goodbye sensor and goodbye fifty quid. I forgot to prep properly and so I was holding the sensor on with my elbow while cutting patches.

    First I cleaned away all the old tape and Tegaderm and sticky from the previous 3 weeks until I was down just to the adhesive oval that originally sticks the sensor on. Trying to remove this is not wise, even when it's completely lost all its sticky.

    My first repair is a single piece of Tegaderm, folded lengthwise and widthwise to make lines. Then you fold it along its long axis and the line from folding it the other way shows you where the centre is. I cut out a diamond (half a diamond since its folded in half) in roughly the size of the sensor. I rip the last piece of waxpaper lining off the Tegaderm and position the Tegaderm over the sensor. You don't get too much adhesion round the edges with a singe piece so care is still needed. The open diamond is to allow the sensor to radiate heat so it doesn't burn out.

    I then quickly attached two entire pieces of Tegaderm above and below the sensor. I only overlap enough Tegaderm onto the sensor to attach to the sides of the sensor and overlap onto its original oval piece of fabric plaster. For this part in particular it is important to stand up, otherwise as soon as you do stand up your skin will stretch and the Tegaderm (or Opsite or whatever you are using) will be too tight and need to come off.

    I now have a secure foundation that will last another one to two weeks. I have controlled the risk of the sensor falling out, even in the shower, and I have also cleaned away lots of ****** old adhesive etc that makes the site look manky and possibly harbours germs.
     
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    #15 Spiker, Sep 19, 2014 at 7:55 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 20, 2014
  16. PaulinaB

    PaulinaB Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    How have I not seen this topic before?!

    I found the important part for me is to keep the sensor "pod" (that plastic thing that keeps the transmitter and has the sensor wire attached) as close to my skin as possible and not allowing it get loose.
    If I take the flexifit tape and cut the hole for the whole sensor then this tape will keep the white adhesive in place. BUT! The white adhesive (just as the tape) is stretchy. So what happened to me on my second sensor - the white adhesive was nicely stuck to my skin, but the sensor pod was "loose". Small parts of the adhesive, just around the sensor stretched and allowed to the pod to stop being stuck to my skin, there was basically a small gap between the pod and my skin. This meant the sensor wire was not all the way under my skin and the "wound" started healing pushing it even further up.

    What I found to be most important so far - keeping the POD on your skin. To do that, I take the flexifit tape and cut a tiny hole in the middle - NOT for the pod like some yt videos suggest but for the transmitter only. So the tape covers the whole white adhesive AND the pod and keeps the whole thing down.
    The tape is stretchy and after a few days it gets too stretched and loose, so I just put another one on top of it.

    I haven't gotten above 2 weeks yet. Simply because I felt a hygiene problem - I don't replace the tape, just put another one on top of existing thing.

    I put the tape on before first shower after putting the sensor in - so basically a few hours later, after the skin settles down.

    Btw,I changed my sensor a few hours ago and there was paaaaain and blood. I'm not sure if I should be worried, I read that this has happened to someone before and it was fine. But I'll be keeping a close eye on the accuracy and hygiene of this spot...
     
  17. Spiker

    Spiker Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hold on for the ride as this plucky little Dexcom G4 Platinum sensor reboots for WEEK FIVE!!!! YEE-HAW!!!!
     
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  18. PaulinaB

    PaulinaB Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Woooow :D that's so awesome! How's the accuracy? I found them to be more accurate AFTER the first week, but week 5, that's a new one :)
     
  19. Spiker

    Spiker Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Accuracy seems fine so far though it's only the first half day. To be honest I am expecting the electronics to flake at some point during this session. But we will see. :)
     
  20. DunePlodder

    DunePlodder Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Whilst at work the other day I checked my Dexcom & saw "???" on the screen. I wasn't sure if it was a brief interruption, which I see occasionally, or perhaps the end of the road for this sensor, which was over 3 weeks old. At lunch time it still wasn't working so I decided it was finished. I didn't check again until I was heading home when I realised it had been working for the last couple of hours. Two days later it hasn't missed a beat.

    I've no idea what the problem was but if I'd been at home I would probably have inserted a new sensor, thus missing out on a couple of days (so far) of good readings.

    The break was just over 2 hours - was it doing some sort of restart calibration? There was no message just the "???".
     
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