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Freestyle Libre not working

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by jordmagx, Nov 17, 2018.

  1. jordmagx

    jordmagx Type 1 · Newbie

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    Hi everyone!

    I apologise if my forum-writing abilities are poor but I’m a newbie so try to stay with me!

    I’ll quickly introduce myself, my name’s Jordan, I’m 25 and I’m from Belfast in Northern Ireland, UK. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in April 2017 at the ripe age of 23!

    On Thursday I went to a routine hospital appointment and the doctor I saw suggested I get the libre sensor fitted. I had heard about it before but had never considered it for myself. But one thing lead to another and the next thing I knew I had a sensor stuck to my tricep.

    Everything seemed to be working fine. I had the app installed on my phone and the readings seemed accurate as I backed them up with a capillary test to ensure it’s reliability.

    So that night I went to bed and woke up the next morning to have a bath. I respected the sensor manual and the nurse’s advice that you shouldn’t bring the sensor under 3ft of water for more than 30 minutes. My bath wasn’t 3ft so I thought I would be alright. I probably bathed for about 20 minutes (sorry for the life story but I want to include all facts in a hope you can tell me what I’m doing wrong!)

    So anyway, I went to work and on my first break I scanned the sensor. It gave me a ‘HI’ reading of 30+ so in a panic I whip out my Novorapid. Before I inject I perform a capillary check. Yep, just as I thought, I wasn’t 30+ but a mere 5.5. Thank god I didn’t take insulin!

    So anyway, I thought nothing of it, maybe the sensor just gives a rogue reading now and again. So later that day (yesterday) I take a reading again and the app tells me something went wrong and to wait 10 minutes. I obey and scan again and it says the same thing. I leave it and go back to work.

    On my way home, I scan again, and this time it gives me that infamous ‘HI’ reading again. This is at about 6pm.

    At around 8pm I scan the sensor again and this time it tells me the sensor is no longer working and to replace it.

    *** IT’S BEEN 24 HOURS. Do these things not last two weeks?!

    Anyway, long story over and now onto my probably stupid questions but bare with me, I’m a pensioner when it comes to technology like this. I’ve no idea how to diagnose tech problems especially a sensor I’ve been aware of for a day.

    So, should I never get it wet?

    And if I do get it wet, does the moisture affect the sensor’s readings or its ability to cling to your skin? The manual doesn’t clearly state if it’s water resistant in terms of the adhesive or the technology itself.

    So yeah, if you can help a guy out, that would be much appreciated! Have I damaged the technical parts of the sensor with water or is this just a one off fault?

    Any additional advice you think is relevant, do share too!

    Thanks guys!
    Jordan x
  2. Rokaab

    Rokaab Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Every so often you will get one that will fail, ring up Abbott, explain what happened and they should replace it.
    I've only had one fail in the first 24 hours in a year and a half, another started giving numbers nowhere near on about the 12th day, the rest have been fine.

    Edit: having a shower or bath shouldn't make it fail otherwise what use would it be - can't exactly go two weeks without a shower :)
    • Agree Agree x 2
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    #2 Rokaab, Nov 17, 2018 at 7:41 PM
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
  3. DaveXF

    DaveXF · Well-Known Member

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    Firstly, Jordan, your forum writing is fine.
    Onto the sender...it's probably faulty.
    No **** Sherlock.
    As noted above, contact Abbot.
    They are very understanding. They may ask for a serial number, however.
    In the future, I recommend keeping the box until the unit has exhausted itself.

    All the best.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  4. Knikki

    Knikki · Guest

    Hello @jordmagx Welcome to the forum, yeah these things do fail in some respect the Libre can be a little fragile but you did nothing wrong.

    Don't throw the sensor away, contact Abbots, odds on they will want the sensor back to work out why it failed, they will send you a package to mail it back.
  5. DavidGrahamJones

    DavidGrahamJones Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Jordan,

    welcome to the forum, hopefully you are only experiencing teething problems. The FS Libre will be a game changer especially as the new version, supposedly due any day now, will add Bluetooth and have alarms for high and low readings. As has been suggested, contact Abbott, everything I have ever read about faulty sensors has been good news for us the customer, they always replace the sensor and they seem to be fairly quick.

    For my own part, I shower every day and although I use to use Tiger tape to cover the sensor, I've found that I don't have to, they're fairly good at staying stuck to my arm. I did have one problem with a false low, but a quick test with another monitor confirmed a false low. I'm sure I've read in the blurb somewhere that if you suspect a false reading, test with another monitor. I don't know if you want to know how they work but it's worth baring in mind that the FS Libre doesn't use blood like other monitors, it using Interstitial Fluid. I'm not an expert but https://freestylediabetes.co.uk/freestyle-libre/interstitial-vs-blood-glucose might provide a bit more background to how the sensor works.

    I think that once you're happy using the reader provided, you might start looking at the FS Libre app for your phone and maybe even the MiaoMiao, a device that takes a reading every 5 minutes without you scanning and transmits the data via Bluetooth to an app on your phone.

    Once you get going there's a lot you can do with the data, even the FS Libre PC app is good for reporting 24hrs worth of data, so long as you remember to scan at least once every 8 hours.

    Good luck, you know where we are if you have any questions.

    By the way, I'm a great fan of this device (I think you can tell), it really is a game changer.
  6. LooperCat

    LooperCat Type 1 · Expert

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    No need to keep the box, as the serial number is printed around the edge of the sensor itself, but very tiny. Just keep the foil lid from the applicator, it’s on there too.
  7. TuviaDror

    TuviaDror · Member

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    You experience is i guess an extreme case of what i reported in an earlier post "
    Freestyle Libre sensor Serious inaccuracies- Help us improve this!" Take a look. Something like that never happened to me and i would strongly suggest contacting the Abbott help desk. Im sure they can help.

    However, in parallel, perhaps file an official complaint, to the European authorities and more importantly to the USA
    FDA, via form 3500. Such a mistake can happen by others as well and if they would give an inappropriate TOO high a bolus, they can get into a potentially dangerous hypoglycemic condition.

    Why approach the authorities? Because once sufficient number of complaints occur, this triggers them (FDA authorities) approaching the manufacturer.

    Then, when they will approach Abbott (who are the freestyle manufacturer), they will request the FreeStyle Libre manufacturer to integrate periodic BG finger tests into the Libre. This would help people like you and me and endless others, by not being misinformed by the Libre BG reading to give wrong boluses or miss bolus. If we will see the Libre reading is inaccurate, we will replace the faulty sensor and not run the risk of acting inappropriately.

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