Bleeding when inserting DexCom sensor

Am on an anticoagulant and almost always bleed when I insert a new sensor (DexCom G6). Am using only my abdomen for sensor location; I do rotate sites. DexCom has changed their guidance on replacing sensors if the patient bleeds at insertion. DexCom Tech Support sent me this on May 27: "With our new guideline, if the bleeding is either on the adhesive pad underneath the sensor pod or contained within the sensor pod; you may still continue to use the same sensor. " My endo suggested I ice the prospective insertion site for 20 minutes prior to inserting a new sensor, which I’m doing. I still bleed some, but not outside the sensor pod (so far). Anyone else experiencing this and have some tips to share? I rarely bleed when inserting a new infusion set for my insulin pump.

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I get bleeders (my current sensor is SOAKED!), but never replace them early. In my experience, they take a little longer to settle down, then have far more accurate results for as long as they last.

I am not on anticoagulants. But sometimes I bleed.
I minimize this by pulling back the inserter after the adhesive is applied. Then hitting the button.
This will draw the skin up a little bit before insertion.

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I do the same thing

Thanks :slight_smile: I’m going to have to try this! I just started the G6 a few sensors ago, after my G5 stock depleted. The first sensor was fine. The second sensor I had a bleeder. I had to change it out early because the transmitter failed (Dex replaced both sensor and transmitter). The third sensor was a bleeder too; I change it in a few days.

I’ve had a couple bleeders and my sensors usually worked with those. There was one that was a complete GUSHER and the sensor never worked at that one.

The first couple months I would push the inserter into my belly before pushing the button. Maybe just maybe I have fewer bleeding sensor sites, and shorter settling times, now that I just neutrally rest the inserter on my belly site. I still almost always presoak to get around the settling time.

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I never put sensors in my belly. There are too many veins. I use the back of my arms or sides of my arms. I have much better luck than my abdomen.
Dexcom will tell you it is not recommended if it’s not your belly, but don’t believe it

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What has helped me keep bleeding to a minimum is to push the sensor applicator onto my belly with vigor which helps the adhesive pad to stick firmly to abdomen for the entire period without tape or over patches. Then I pinch the skin in front of the applicator just like I did when inserting the G5 and then I can rock the applicator to have the filament go in shallow or deeper and have tested and stuck with the angles that give me little to no bleed and then press orange button for the insertion while in this position.

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Looks like everyone has their own unique experience. When I first started with G6, I had bleeding issues for 3 or 4 times. I was squeezing my abdomen like I did with the G5 to get more “fat” to insert into. Then a Dexcom agent told me not to do that, but just put the applicator against my abdomen naturally. So far that has worked for the past year or so.—Knock on wood.

I rarely get significant blood under the sensor or adhesive. Seems if the blood doesn’t clot, then readings after warm-up are way off. Then sensor qualifies for replacement as inaccurate.

If insertion technique doesn’t solve the bleeding problem, you might ask about putting coagulant on the site before inserting the sensor. I’ve used Blood Stop and Bleed Stop on cuts and it’s really amazing. Those products are on a mesh, but an internet search turns up sprays.

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Thanks! This is interesting and I’m going to ask my doc about it when I see them in a few months.

The bleeding was enough to leave black and blue marks (from each sensor) that are still present. There is definitely something different about the filament for the G6 than for the G5 and G4. I don’t think it is just the inserter that is different.

I have been on anticoagulants as well @Lynn17. Here are the facts I have assembled in a humorous and factual manner.

Bleeders

Welcome to the world of CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION.

BLEEDERS:

ACTION: First STOP the bleeding. Hold direct pressure on the hole the blood is coming from for 5 minutes by the clock. The reason is two-fold:

[1] holding direct pressure is what is taught in basic first aid to stop bleeding.

[2] even after the bleeding has stopped coming from the site hole, there may still be bleeding under the skin surface. Keeping pressure on the site for the full 5 minutes will reduce the [a] size of the bruise, & [b] decrease the damaged ‘real estate’ for new site locations in the next week or so.

CAUSE: A blood vessel was punctured. There have been discussions about the type of blood vessel punctured, artery (carries blood from the heart under pressure - spurts if cut), arteriole (small artery), capillary (where exchanges occur), venule (small vein), vein (generally lower pressure vessel carrying blood to the heart - oozes if cut) with little importance. If there is a hole in a blood vessel pouring blood out of a person’s body, stop it.

OBSERVATIONS: Almost all, if not all, skin punctures made by diabetic care tools will cause BLEEDERS. Finger sticks have even had blood spurt as when milking a droplet for testing. Spurts seen in arterial bleeding. In the side of a finger? Yes. CGM and pump sites may have bleeders. Some occur on insertion, while most show themselves at removal.

BOTTOM LINE: Be prepared for a BLEEDER to rear its surprising head any time you are working with a hole in your ‘hide’.

Hope this helps.

Jay6, thanks for your response. Your humor is much appreciated! Those of us with diabetes don’t often get to look at things through a humorous lens. Your explanation of veins and arteries is great (what I learned in high school biology–Arteries carry blood Away (emphasis on the letter A) from the heart—still serves me well.
Thanks to all who have responded to my question. My endo is good, but I know that those who walk the diabetes walk often have some beneficial and practical insight or tips! Perhaps others in my situation gained something, too. Thank you!

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@Lynn17 , you are welcome… I have worked on my satires for my diabetes essays or handouts… see message.

I am not on anti-coagulants but I do bleed sometimes around the Dexcom. So far it hasn’t affected the readings and I get the full 10 days OK.