Just another data point. I use the G6 sensors with a Tandem pump. I put the sensors on the back of my arms, abdomen, and thighs (I suspect transmission would not be good on my “hips” [read “buttocks”]). Being on Medicare, I only run them for the standard 10 days. I have had very close to NO trouble with them: signal and data remains good to the last.
A question: do your sensor adhesive patches tend to get loose around the edges toward the end of the period? I don’t know if that makes a difference, but it might. I use Smith & Nephew I.V. Prep pads before attaching the sensor (and also use them with my infusion sets), and almost never have any peeling of the adhesive pads. They contain just enough adhesive to make sure everything stays attached. There are other similar products, too.
I’ve had some sensors peel off before reaching the specified replacement schedule and I’ve had Dexcom replace for that reason as well as my occasional early sensor failures.
But only I’ve rarely had a failure before day 10, maybe five times in the past two years, where the readings become erratic and calibration isn’t effective. I also have frequently restarted sensors, occasionally twice getting me near that 30-day mark, but after usually one restart the accuracy diminishes towards the end of the 20 day period of use.
I was fortunate to get an extra transmitter that had been returned to the diabetes educator, so altogether I now have a backup supply of an extra three months. (Using my oldest stock first.)
I like the reliability especially for the first session, mostly, and stopped routinely calibrating since the numbers are almost always very close. The exception is when I restart, I have to calibrate a couple times because it always reads very high after a restart. But then it settles down.
I’ve now stopped restarting sensors due to the hassle of removing the transmitter, the need to recalibrate, the loss of stickiness of the tape usually by day 20, and my stockpile of new sensors means I done need to be so careful. One recent exception was when I was delayed while traveling and my sensor was expiring and I’d forgotten to pack a spare.
I rarely had a G6 that lasted the full 10 days. I always kept the cover from the package that included the lot number. And when there were failures i reported them to Dexcom ( either via phone or website) and a week later a replacement was shipped. I’m sure Dexcom lost money on me as a customer, but they seem to believe their sensors will last for 10 days for every customer. Just based upon what i read in this forum i am certain that is not the case. But by letting them know of sensor failures they can, one hopes, improve their product. I’m now on the G7 and had a couple of fails, and find that during the first few days the values reported can be off by up to 60 points! I calibrate and they do better. But i’m also reporting that to Dexcom, so they can do better. Maybe they’ll throw in a box of test strips. Still in all, far better than the days when all we had were test strips and huge needles!
Over the last nearly 3 years, all but one G6 sensor lasted the 1st 10 days. The adhesive can be an issue when showering every single day, though. When in doubt, I add a patch designed for the G6 sensor at about day 7.
I have posted this before, but typically after the 1st 10 days, after it expires, I restart my sensors. I am not trying to save money, but to build up an inventory of sensors in case there are problems, including possible supply problems during a natural disaster.
Nearly all sensors then go the full 10 days again, as long as there is the extra patch to keep the sensor in place. So for all practical purposes, I am getting 20 days of accurate readings. I nearly always need to calibrate during the first 24 hours of a new or restarted sensor. That just comes with the territory, and to be honest, each year the sensors need less of a correction than they did when I first began to use G6.
As others have noted, different bodies seem to have different sensor reactions. I may just be lucky that sensors stay on me and remain accurate for so long, but I am sure many others have much less time per sensor.
However, where you place the sensor and using an additional patch to protect and hold the sensor in place could possible help some get more life from a sensor.
My G6 sensors have always lasted the full 10 days plus another 10 after a restart. I might could get longer but I change out on day 20. I have always worn mine on the front of my upper arm. Near top of upper arm, that is. The tape is a hassle. I always have to patch it.
I’ve had the same experiences lately. Sensors start to get a little wonky sometimes around day 6-7, then progressively worse until it’s time to change. Wildly inaccurate readings, huge swings between readings, repeated periods of ‘sensor error’ and the last one I had ultimately failed at midnight on day 9, so I had to change it right before going to bed and let it warm up while I slept, I wasn’t going to stay up for the 2 hours at that point. Yes, they mostly ‘last 10 days’, but they’re absolutely worthless, as I also use mine in a DIY Loop system. Over the years, I began wearing them on my stomach and then moved to the backs of my arms. Due to too many compression issues when I would sleep on my side, I’ve moved to the tops of my thighs. Not sure if it’s body chemistry, placement, bad lot numbers or lack of any quality control. Like you, I just need them to work. Also debating whether to make the move to the G7, but have also heard bad reviews/issues with them as well.
Thank you for attaching the chart. Sadly, it just confirms what I already know. My problem is not being unaware of when to recalibrate, it is the times that I lose signal and/or have readings that are 50, 60, or even 100 points different than what the G6 says. In a nutshell, by Day 8 I can no longer trust the readings, and those readings are what is trying to run my OmniPod 5 controller/ insulin pump. Additionally, since I am on a pump and on Medicare, I no longer can get any test strips paid for by insurance, so all of those strips are out-of-pocket expenses for me. I have been playing this diabetic game long enough to know that technology eventually will improve; however, at this point I am just frustrated and a bit discouraged.
Over the years sense G4 & G5. I’ve had very few issues with the G6. I am now fighting to stay on the G6 as every thing I’ve heard or read about the G7 does pay well in my mind.
The only issue I have with the G6 is not the sensor itself but the People who are shipping. I have to tell them 30 day in advance when my last sensor is expiring. And constantly in the past year I have to go a day with out one. ( never had any luck with restarts)
I know, John, I know. To avoid this problem, years ago I just bit the bullet and PAID for a box of sensors so I would have a back-up when that happened. That back-up has served me well through the years.
When I get my dexcom shipments, I get one transmitter and 9 sensors. How do you run the sensors for double their intended time and still have a working transmitter.
I have extended 2 or 3 sensors just to see how it would work, but in the end I ours be left with extra sensors.
You can pay cash for Transmitter, about $35-40 using GoodRX coupon. So may get more days total for same number of sensors that you restart. You would need new RX for the extra transmitter that you get with GoodRX. But would give you more sensor days use from your 3 boxes of sensors.
And nice to have extra trans just in case.