Life span of a CGM Transmitter?

Hi! I’ve had my CGM transmitter for about 18 months. I know the ‘warranty’ on these is only 6 months. For anyone who uses the Minimed CGM, are there signs that it’s time to get a new one? I’ve recently found that instead of getting 7+ days on a sensor, I’m lucky to get 6 days. I was in a bookstore the other day and for the first time, I had so much interference that the sensor stopped transmitting until I left the store…didn’t realize it until it alarmed. Should I just order another one? Anyone know when the Elite sensors will be out? Will the transmitter be different? I hate to order another transmitter now and then have the new one come out early next year. Thanks for any feedback!

I have had mine for almost 4 years. I do usually get 6 days and frequently have interference. It usually has to do with somthing in the location…I have found that many electronics do this, such as baby monitors. I plan to use mine until it dies completely. I have heard of others who have had their GCMs longer than I have had mine.

I am on CGM 10 Months so that is my only experiences.

I have found that my Laptop PC and other RF devices has caused issues with my sensor to pump transmissions.

For example if my sensor and pump is low on my belly on the left side and I use my laptop, it interferes but if the sensor and pump are on the right side, no problems.

As usual there are no specs to confirm cause and effects.

I have had mine for four yrs no problem.

Well, if the transmitter fails to charge in spite of having a new battery in the charger, or won’t hold a charge longer than 3 days, it’s definitely time to get a new one. I think the warranty limit is a CYA thing, not necessarily related to reality.

I also think there’s a quality control problem with sensors – the longest I have ever had one last is 6 days, but I’ve also had them fail before 3 days, for no discernable reason. To me, failure means flatlining – not catching highs or lows, even after allowing for lag time. Or 2 calibration errors leading to a bad sensor alarm. But the flatlining is a better indication.

Medtronic will not say anything about when the Enlite is coming out – but I’m sure it’s an FDA hangup. But so far as I know (from reports from 2 men living in Europe who are using it), it will work with current transmitters. And probably be a lot more expensive, because of its longer lifetime – you know Medtronic has to keep its profits up!

Thanks for the responses. I know that interference can and will happen, just seemed odd that I hadn’t experienced quite that terribly and wondered if it was another sign to get a new transmitter. Right now, since I’ve met my deductible with insurance I could get a new transmiter for very little…I know I’ve read where sometimes they don’t last even this long so life time varies, it seems.

I’m on my fourth Minilink transmitter. For me, the average life expectancy is about 18 months with the shortest being 12 months and the longest about three years. And before someone yells about my math and they haven’t been out long enough for all of that to add up, the longest of these is currently being used by someone other than myself.

As far as Enlite, my understanding is the transmitter is the same. If you go to the MM web site and go to the UK version, you can get all of the information. Who knows when the FDA will approve them in the US…

Have you tried using your upper thigh area for your sensor. When I used it around the waist line I would only get about six days and they were not very accurate. Did not follow the highs and lows very well. Someone here mentioned how well they were doing using there upper thigh area. So I gave it a try. I love it. I get 12 days could probably get more, but I would rather not get scar tissue so I can use them a long time. The accuracy is pretty amazing. You hardly feel the needle when you insert. I am a thin person with little extra meat on the thighs… Give it a try.


I’ve only used my upper thighs! :slight_smile: I used to get a pretty long life on them…longest was 3 weeks. That’s why I’m thinking it’s the transmitter dying… I think I might go ahead and see how much it will cost to get another one. Thanks everyone for all the ideas and thoughts.


Upper thigh, huh! Really/ It sound painful…sometimes it really hurts on my stomach and other times it feels fine. That is my biggest complaint with the sensor…I hate insertion!

Yeah, same here. Sometimes it’s ok no pain or very little but other times, major ouchie! But it’s worth it to me. I use the top thigh in the center. I find it doesn’t interfere too much with every day things and stays out of the way for the most part.

Hi, Jenni,
You’ve convinced me. Next sensor, I will try upper thigh, because I have been very disappointed with accuracy near the waist. It has missed lows in the 50’s and highs in the 200’s AND reported false highs and lows as well. Sometimes I wonder why I bother with the darn thing, except that I’m definitely OCDiabetes.

Now my only concern is how to insert. I only tried a shot in the front middle of the thigh once – I don’t have much fat there, and it HURT! Do you pinch up skin to insert the sensor or do you leave it flat? Do you go in at a shallower angle? Inquiring minds would like to know! :slight_smile:

This discussion started with “life of the transmitter” and seems to have digressed into “life of the sensor.” These are two separate issues but do have potential relationships. From personal experience and talking to a lot of folks (I’m very active in my local D community,) how many days you accurately get out of a Medtronic sensor seems to be most closely tied to your body chemistry, your immune system and the activities you do in relationship to your sensor site. I’m pretty average, I get between 5 and 7 days of accurate readings when inserting in my core or anywhere else . However, I have several friends who get pretty much as many days as they are willing to leave a sensor inserted no matter the insertion site. On the other hand, I also have two friends that cannot get accurate readings for even one day with Medtronic or DexCom sensors in any site because their immune systems attack the sensor and completely coat it (tested by lab) with white blood cells.

So, going back to the original question, for me personally, when my sensor is at least past it’s warranty and when I get several sensors in a row that don’t give accurate readings for my 5-7 day average, I assume the transmitter is toast and start the process of getting a new one.

Thanks Mike! This is what I wanted to hear. I also enjoyed the other topic of insertion, etc. By the way I do about a 60 degree angle into the upper thigh and pinch the skin up so that it won’t hit muscle.Good luck.

It is so interesting to hear what works…I was told never to pinch the skin when inserting the CGM, but I am ready to try anything at this point…

6 - 12 days… I thought these get replaced after three days when they end. Isn’t that the way to replace the sensors?

First of all…I can safely say that six is the most you should have it in for… and my trainer said that is all you can do…while they are trying to get 6 days approved by the FDA it is not yet, so legally from Medtronic standpoint… 3 is all your supposed to be doing… I would wait, because in January they are supposedly releasing the new sensors… and they are supposed to be smaller and more accurate, at least, that is what they are telling me… Medtronic was not happy when I told em that i used the sensor for 6 days… they said, DO NOT DO IT…just wait and see what happens… and I have lots of devices and none interfere with my sensor…

Thanks for the infor about them releasing the new one in January…I still haven’t decided to get a new one or wait…this news makes me want to wait.

As for the 3, 6, etc days using a sensor I know what they say you should do. But when a sensor hits day 7 and is working perfectly, I’m not going to stop using it just because it’s day 7. They also say not to cover it completely with Tegaderm but that’s the only way I can stand wearing it, so I do it. We have to do what works for us. :slight_smile:

hmmm…my transmitter lasted just about 18 months, then it completely went dead on me. I was without one for 3 weeks while all the approvals went through and I really missed it. To be honest, I thought I’d enjoy not having it, but that was not the case at all—it really does give me constant information that I was beginning to take for granted. As far as the sensors go, my doc is very adamant with me that he doesn’t want them in any more than 2.5 - 3 days at most. I’ve always kept mine in my core. I tried using my thigh once and was ready to scream from the pain at insertion, and had considerable bleeding, to the degree that it came right through my pants. I didn’t try it a second time. Once was enough for this chicken. I welcome the opportunity to try a revised version that is easier to insert and less painful. I absolutely dread having to put them in. I keep asking for more training to see if I’m doing something wrong, but haven’t been able to get any to date. I’ll keep trying. Nice to be able to read comments and keep my thoughts in perspective…thanks, everybody!

At 2 years, I asked my endo and he said it may be time for a new one. Never had problems with it and ept it as a back up. Tried it a while back for a day and it was still reading well. I keep it in the charger and marked “OLD” on it with a sharpee!