Arm Users

My son will likely be changing over from the Navigator to Dexcom soon. He wants to continue to wear the CGM on his arm and wanted me to check to see how others wear it, vertically or horizontally or if it matters? He said that he saw on the site that you are supposed to wear it horizontally, but since arms are not an approved site, maybe others have had luck with vertical? Since my daughter can only wear her Omnipod on her arms, we have never tried them for the Dexcom.

I don’t wear it on my arms (I wear my pump there) but when I place the Dex sensor on my legs I wear it vertically and it works just fine. You want to wear it in whatever way will minimize the motion of the muscles / skin / fat that may be under the adhesive area.

I wear it on my arms - vertically - without a problem. I place it on the back of the arm.

Tim always wears his dex on his arms. Vertically. Never a problem.

I wear both my Omnipod and my Dexcom on my arms. The Omnipod goes on the back of the arm and I put the dexcom on the front/inner part of my arm. That way when they happen to end up on the same arm (every three days) they are still three inches apart. I wear both vertically. I cannot insert a new Dexcom sensor by myself on the back of my arm. I am just not that coordinated. Depending on your son’s age, that may not be an issue for you if you are always doing the insertions for him. The only problem with Dexcom insertion on the arms is trying to do it one handed. Good luck


Even though its not approved for arm use… I only tend to wear it vertically not horizontally… Think horizontally would be painful.

This may be a dumb question, but just how do you insert a dexcom sensor on your arms? Do you have help? I live by myself, and that’s not really an option…

He is an adult and lives alone, so no help available to put it on his arm. He has always done the Navigator insertion on his arms by looking into a mirror, but doesn’t try to put it on the back of the arm, more in the middle. Now that I really think about it, he may have a hard time doing it with one hand. He doesn’t think that he would like it on his stomach, but he might have to try it. Since it is so much smaller than the Navigator I would think it would be okay.

I wear mine on upper arm vertically and that seems to work best.

The most accurate reading place is fingertips and arms next.

Why somebody would pick gut is totally unclear to me.

Probably because it is the only approved site? If arms truly are best, then why would they not be approved for use there?
I am still wanting to know if any of you are able to place the sites without help on the upper arm though.

And instructions on how to do so. :slight_smile:

I always wear arm or thigh sensors vertically, abdomen, hip, trunk horizontal.

I put mine on my upper arm without help. It was a little awkward at first but what I do is to remove the safety guard piece first and carefully place the dex on my arm vertically with the inserter pointing up towards my shoulder. After I firmly push down all the adhesive I’ll turn sidewise into my chair and rest my arm on the back of my chair which kind of helps to pinch up a little bit and insert the sensor and pull back the collar. Then I just let my arm hang and I pinch the little tabs that release the inserter and the inserter usually just falls to the floor. Sometimes it gets caught on the latch though and that’s when I’ll need help or will have trouble getting the inserter to release. If I can I do my arm sensors when someone else is around just in case I get stuck. It’s not difficult just a little awkward at times trying to get around the latch but once you know how the inserter removes from the sensor you can figure it out and do it with one hand. What amazes me is when people can put it in their backsides by themselves. I don’t think I could do that one.

Next time you change a sensor pay close attention to each step and try to do it with one hand particularly removing the inserter. That may be difficult to do with a horizontal site but give it a whirl and see how it goes.

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Diana’s instructions are right on… I’ve been using my arms for months now and pretty much insert the same as she does. It is a little awkward the first couple of times, but I haven’t needed any help at all. Worst time I had I just needed to take a deep breath and start again (sensor didn’t want to snap in). If I insert in my stomach, it peels off within 3 days. Inserting in my arm stays put for over 2 weeks. One note - I’m allergic to adhesive tape so try to minimize the extra taping.

Thanks guys! I’ve been scared to try because the sensors are so darn expensive I can’t afford to mess one up. It’s good to know the adhesive lasts longer on the arm to. I start double taping on my stomach on day 5 and my skin gets angry and red.

I think the skin on my arm is tougher - it doesn’t get as irritated as my stomach. Try lining up the sensor without removing the protective sheet to see about placement, how you can reach it etc. It’s similar to the first time you tried to put a necklace on with a tiny or tight clasp. The first time you struggle a bit, second time is easier, and you get to the point that you don’t even think about it…

I think another reason the adhesive lasts longer is because arms don’t bend like tummies can. My sensors do best on either my arms or my thighs. I also try to minimize using extra adhesive as I react to most now. The only one I can wear is hypafix.

I am an arm user and vertically. The reason for the lack of arm site probably has to do
with the byzantine beauocracy that approved the dum answer. Many times committees end up at worst marginal solution
not the technically best. The arms are fed from the best source of blood from heart/liver.

It find ir mostly easy using other arm. Real big fracas is breaking off the clamping lever after clamping the xmit module to sensor. After that rest is easy. With one hand I hold sensor plate and then use a finger on same hand to break off the lever.

I, too, wear my Dexcom on my arm and have no problem inserting by my self. As a matter of fact, I think it is easier. I go vertical and it is usually about an inch below my shoulder. I take the Guard off usually before I put it on my arm, but even when I don’t, the Guard comes out easily with one hand. Probably the only issue is to make sure the adhesive tape is on COMPLETELY and FLAT everywhere BEFORE insertion. If there are any wrinkles, I will left a small part of the tape up and reapply. This can weaken the adhesive, but it is essential to have the Sensor STAY on your arm, so the most important part of the entire process is indeed make sure the adhesive is as smooth and as consistent attached as possible. Remember, the Sensor is important for accuracy of readings, but it also is the home for the TRANSMITTER, which is expensive to replace!

I wear mine vertically too, same with my legs.

Here is a little video of me doing an arm insertion (I don’t know if it helps much)

Find more videos like this on TuDiabetes

Oh and I am not very flexible so it might be harder for me than most.

That is a big help, thanks! You make it look easy. He is getting it on Thursday, and will be inserting it that day, so I will have him watch the video.