Omnipod Failed- Dangerous UPDATE: Issue was Human Error

Last week my Omnipod failed me. I am not sure what actually happened. BS was about 125.
I took my normal insulin amount based on my carb/ insulin ratio
and waited my normal 20 min before I eat in the am so my bg does not shoot up too fast. Within 20 min my bs was trending down with arrows straight down stating I was going to 55 soon. Double checked with the meter twice and got 34 and 42.

I panicked. I thought I had made a human error. The next meal I was about 145, I bolused for my meal with extra vigilance and cut my pre-bolus time to 10 min. and In about 15min I hit 67. I did not know what to think. I was double-checking all sensor numbers with the meter. This was the last day for the sensor and pod. I change my I/C ratio and basal to avoid this happening again, However, I was high like over 200 with the change for about a week. Went back to my previous setting and all was fine again.

Concluded the pod shot out too much insulin during boluses. Contacted Omnipod and reported it as a medical issue. I told them I was going to post this issue on this forum to see if anyone else has had this problem. This has not happened to me before. Used pods for 6yrs. Insulin was not expired.

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That’s crazy cause usually it’s the opposite thing taht happens.
Doesn’t inject enough.

It would have been good to take it off and inject 5 units to see what came out. It would be like a single drop.

If that pump is truly giving more than it should, it’s a scary thing. Most pumps prevent that in several ways.

On my tandem pump, in my pocket I hit the keys required to prime my pump. This is several button pushes in the right order but some how it did. I ended up delivering 20 units before I heard it pumping the way a prime sounds.

So I ate a lot of carbs and was ok. I really don’t know how it happened. I’m even more surprised by your situation because there was no human mistake

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I know Medtronic had 1 death from a malfunction of delivering too much insulin and it recalled the pumps. The retainer ring was possibly cracked or missing and could release too much or not enough insulin.

Some people purposely inject directly into a muscle to get a faster response from insulin and I wonder if you could have hit a muscle with the pod and the insulin was hitting faster than the food you ate? I don’t know too much about it as I’ve never done it, I’ve just heard about it.

Scary…

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Hi there. I would be very surprised if the cannula on the OMNIPOD could reach muscle. I do suppose that if the user is very lean with good muscle tone than perhaps.
Pods are the only type of pump that I have used and have had great results with it. I adjust the background basil delivery every now and then and pre bolus about 5-10 minutes out.
I also would think that if the insulin was out of date that it would get less effective rather than more. My T1 came with gremlins that every so often you do double takes and start questioning one’s sanity. I try not to “compare” myself with others because textbook is never the case with me.
I do hope they have sent you replacement pods. Did they ask for the defective one back?
Best Regards and prayers. Be well.

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They asked for the pod back to do an analysis but I had thrown it out. No, they did not replace the pod because I used it for more than half the time.

I’ve considered trying Omnipod, since I’m between warranties. This caught my attention. Is this normal? They don’t guarantee the pod for the entire 3 days?

This is NOT normal. Never happened before. Never heard of it happening to others. Truly an anomaly. I am still using Omnipod and will continue to do so.

Do not let this incident sway you. Usually, Omnipod will offer you another pod if you complain that error happened during first day or so. I do not know the exact amount of hrs maybe less than 36

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This is very atypical cause to suspect. I don’t think this event (low BG event), in general, is atypical. It might be for you. I would not jump to hardware failure as the first cause. Hardware failure is where you go after you verify that it wasn’t a bunch of other things - that’s tough to do.

Its good that you were able to notice something strange going on and remedy the situation. I’m sure it scared you. But this alone should not cause you to loose confidence in your hardware. Keep an eye on things.

Some possible variables that might had led to this:

1.) Your metabolism was high for some reason causing fast absorption - could be heat (hot shower, working outside in a hot environment), exercise that kicked in, alcohol consumption within 72 hours, etc. Maybe the low felt more severe because you had used up a bunch of emergency energy supplies within your body that might normally assist you. Maybe you are entering a phase of being ‘sensitive’ to lows because your BG has been very stable for a very long time.

2.) Irregular or changing I:C ratios. This might be the start of a shift in I:C ratios due to weight loss or a change in endocrinological factors. It could be something specific to that food, in particular, or your bodies response to it. It could have been mis-labled or mis-measured. That stuff just happens sometimes. Perhaps your diestion of the food was slow (maybe you had eaten something with fiber recently and that slowed absorption).

3.) Maybe you were trending down (Dexcom hadn’t detected it yet) and the prebolus was not necessary.

It could be anything.

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@Robyn_H I have never had them turn down replacing a pod at day 3. I wonder if it has something to do with only hours left on it? Or did throwing it out play a part? They always want the lot number etc. But I think almost all my call ins are for a day 1, maybe day 2 failure so? So interesting. I will purposely try to remember to call one in as a day 3 failure instead of an earlier failure to see what they do. I have plenty so if they don’t replace it, it doesn’t matter. I would think they would have to replace it if it failed before it’s time as most scripts and insurance will only cover a set amount in the first place so if it fails earlier it could be a problem for some. But that’s just not usually when they do.

I always save up 3-6 to call in at once. Most of the time I write a date in marker I put it on, how long it was on and what happened. Put them in a box and call them in when I feel like it. But sometimes I am lax about what’s on it. If it’s critical for someone, you almost always have them fail immediately or know within a day if it’s not working optimally. It’d be easy enough to make sure the ones you ever call in fit the time frame.

It is tedious calling them in and they have weird questions they come up with. Calling them in as a group and months after the fact they have a tendency to just want the basics if you have them but always want the serial and lot numbers.

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You can’t discount seasonal changes in insulin requirement… spring and fall.

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I have used the OmniPod since 2009, and this is very abnormal. I rarely have any problems with Pods; if I do, I call it in immediately, and most of the time Insulet will replace it with no problem. One of the last ones I called in had occluded within minutes of me putting it on, and they reimbursed me $4.00 for the 85 units of insulin that was in the bad Pod. Of course, most of the time I can draw out some of the insulin if the Pod is fairly new, so no harm done. Insulet has been good about sending new Pods for ones that Alert, or overnighting PDMs if something happens to the one you are using. I would never go to a tubed pump. The OmniPod has served me well.

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First, I would like to say thank you for all of your responses. I had the same situation occur about 3 more times. I ruled out pod, other hardware, insulin as possible failures. I became afraid to take insulin. I cut my insulin dose.to 30% of my original doses per meal. I removed all prebolusing. I was able to slowly manage the bg with small boluses throughout the day as needed, Truly I was taking too much insulin overall.

The issue was this. I took on lunchroom and recess duties for the past three weeks. This included a lot of physical work. I am usually standing while teaching but now this activity is more intense particularly playing during recess. I thought this would help with my fitness goals but I did not think it would have such an effect on my insulin sensitivity. even on the next day.

I realize exercise can have a lasting effect but I have never had this happen before. I have been on a weight reduction program and I lost about 10 pounds over 3 more months or so.

I am redoing my I/C ratio. My basals seem to be fine.

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Exercise is awesome! Any kind of activity is better than sitting around. Congratulations on the weight loss and less insulin.

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This made me smile, I know this is taken out of context but its the thought of a teacher playing with her students during recess.

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Does the Omnipod self-adjust for highs and lows? My Tandem does, and I found that if I set up a bolus for any reason soon after it did an insulin adjustment for a high glucose, I will drop entirely too fast many times. I need to spend some time with a Tandem guru to see what to do about it.

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Omnipod does not self adjust.