OmniPod failures


I’ve been an OmniPod user for about 2.5 years now. In that time, I’ve had a few (6) pod failures during that time which Insulet replaced for me. Recently, I’ve had the following failures:

8/28 - Pod failure in a restaurant shortly after we placed our order. I hadn’t yet initiated a bolus nor was the pod disturbed, it just went off!

9/8 - PDM failure. The unit was in my pocket. I did not bump/jolt it in any way and I wasn’t using it to display any screens. (I called Insulet and they had a replacement delivered to me in less than 24 hours.) Note: I continued wearing the pod so that it continued with its basal rate delivery until I got the new PDM even though the displayed instructions on the PDM indicated that the pod be removed immediately…

9/10 - Pod failure. No bolus was taking place, but an earlier initiated Extended bolus had completed about 20 min before the alarm. Again, no bumps of the pod happened.

With all of these failures I’ve experienced over the last 2 weeks, I’m losing my confidence in my OmniPod. This Thurs, I’ll be out all day for an end-of-season golf outing and dinner. I hope the alarms to not pick that day to belly-up. Then, this upcoming weekend, I’ll be playing in a 2-day chess tournament. It’s considered rude and you could get disqualified for making noise while playing. That would be a very bad time for a failure to occur.

So, both of the pods that failed me were from Lot number L42197. I was wondering if others might also be having pod failures which were from this same Lot. Anybody?


I recently had two back to back pod failures that were from the same lot. I have already thrown out the box since I had used up the 10 so I don’t have the lot numbers.

I am very new to pods and have felt very proud that I had gone almost 3 months with no issues so it was quite a shock to have the back to back failures. My thinking was that it was an issue with the lot or my insulin. Never really figured it out. The good news is I haven’t had one since.

How long were you wearing the pods before they failed? Hope you can figure it out.

My 2 recent pod failures occurred after I had worn them 36 and 31 hours. If you call Insulet and give them the details (lot number, pod serial number (both located on the pod in tiny letters/numbers), date of the pod failure, reference number from the PDM alarms summary screen (i.e., about a 15-digit number which tells them the type of failure and related info about the failure), length of time worn, where on your body it was, etc.), they will send you replacements for the failed pods. I record all this info in an Excel spreadsheet and then call them all in at once after I’ve had multiple failures which may be 3-6 months.

Failures have become extremely rare for me (knock on wood). I did have an occlusion the other day (also extremely rare) after having the pod on for a few hours. I was able to draw out most of the insulin and replace the pod. Quality control is extremely good these days, but I guess a bad batch is still possible.

I’m so sorry you went through this Nick. It is very frustrating, indeed.

My son has been using Omnipod for nine and a half years. Pod errors are rare, and are very rare with the new system and my son’s growth from a wee four year old to a young man of 13.

However, there have been a couple of times when errors seem to aggregate, and it does diminish confidence in the product. I’ve definitely wondered if we had a bad batch, or did something unusual to cause the errors. Other than chalking some Pod errors up to static, I’ve never been able to come up with a reasoning. We’ve never been able to conclude we had a bad batch of Pods.

I hope this was an unfortunate grouping of anomalies for you. Good luck with your golfing and chess playing. Report back and let us know how it all goes!

Ugh. Having the same experience with a box of pods. The replacements are working fine. But I’m up to 7 out of 10 failures. It’s almost enough to make me consider tubing!! (And that’s saying a lot!)

Yes, 3 failures within 2 weeks with the screeching alarms going off at any time can make anyone lose confidence in the system. Anyway, I didn’t have any bad situations in the events I played in. And thanks for asking how my activities went, Lorraine. In addition to what I mentioned, I also played in the RI Senior Olympic’s Table Tennis tournament last weekend. I didn’t finish in the top 3 in my age group for singles play, but scored the Silver medal in doubles play (thanks in lots to having a very good partner who carried our team!) Weather was great for the golf outing and if I could have cut one more stroke off my score, I would have finished in a 3-way tie for second, but ended up finishing out of the money in 4th place. As for the chess tourney this past weekend, I didn’t fair too well there either. I ended up with 1 win, 1 draw, and 2 loses - far out of the money. I enjoyed this event as it was the first time they held a ‘senior’s’ tourney open only to those 40 and older. It was quite different playing without all the kids there! Nothing personal against children, but it’s a bit hectic with them all over the place and frustrating to lose to kids 10 and under all the time!

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Congrats on the Silver Medal!!!:clap:

I know I am late to this conversation but we just started the pod 3 months ago for my 5 yo daughter. At first it was all good and in our 2nd month we have had one failure after another. It’s VERY rare we get through three days without it going off.
My daughter has little fat on her…so finding a good site is tough. It kills me how much insulin is wasted on kids using the omnipod. But being tubeless is ideal for younger ones. I wish they could make one for the littles. Between the failures and the amount we are required to put in --it’s an enormous waste.
It’s been very frustrating. I like being able to dose her more specifically (rather than a pen). But the amount of failures is unreal. We are thinking about going back to pen…but between being able to control the basal throughout the day and dosing more closely helps her BG enormously…its a tough decision.

Where are you putting it? Also, if you have a failure, you can siphon the insulin out of the failed pod into one of the OP needles and use it in a new pump.

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Are you able to determine the reason for failure through the use of the error code? Way back when, we were able to call in the errors and the CS rep would translate the code for us. I feel like they may not do that anymore…we rarely call in errors now. The first winter Caleb used the OmniPod we had several static errors - I believe those codes all ened in 09 or 19. That was a long time ago, and the static issues are much less today, but he still gets them every once in a while when he wears silky athletic wear.

We talk to Omnipod all the time. We call in our codes on the failed ones and they can’t give us a definitive reason. They think she dislodged the canula but doing something. yet I have been next to her when the pod just goes off and she is just sitting there. So who knows? To be honest, I know the CS people are trying to help–but I don’t think they have a real handle on why it is happening either…we follow all instructions to a T.

They suggest changing sites. We mostly do her legs near her bottom…where there is the most fat (it’s hard she is very lean). We did the arm our first week of pod and ended up in the ER (the alarm didn’t go off, but something clearly wasn’t working. The endo was convinced it was pod related -said it must have been a bad site). We might try to go back to back of arm.

We have tried siphoning out insulin from old pods…but since she is so little we put in the minimum amount each time. So it’s difficult to get enough out to refill a new pod (and that isn’t filled with air bubbles).
We know another young boy at her school with T1 and his mom said they get fails all the time too. So I know we are not the only ones.
For kids, the tubeless is so ideal…but the pod fails are so disruptive particularly at school.

If I understand correctly where you are putting it . . . it would seem to me that she would be sitting on the Pod constantly and in school she is likely sitting on hard chairs. I never wore my pod on my lower back for example because I have a long commute to the office and it would always get irritated while driving. Back of my arms was best because there generally was never any pressure on it.

I know it’s frustrating. I hope you can work it out.

When I call in to get the replacement, I always get the code defined for me from the tech support rep and write them down. I figure, if they are gonna ASK me for the code to send me the replacement, then I certainly am gonna insist on them telling me what the code MEANS

Sorry for just sending pictures, too lazy to re-write the numbers here. I know you all are jealous of my sophisticated logging system! It’s a new app I got, called “paper and pencil”!

Oooh, you’ve given us our own legend! Thanks. I wonder what interruption in flow of insulin is as compared to occlusion. And also, what’s a safety check?

When Caleb started, getting the definition was easy. It became a problem somewhere along the way…maybe when the costumer service center was moved/expanded. We’ve since stopped asking and rarely call in the errors anyway bc they are so few.

My guess would be large air bubbles in the little vial (lack of a better term) the insulin sits in, but I could be completely off base. I never had that error in over 10 years of using the OmniPod, so it’s hard for me to say.

That’s a good question! Here is my understanding, based solely on tech support rep explanations…

These 2 are pod related errors:
interruption in flow of insulin, 064 - during a safety check it discovered the potential for an interruption in the flow of insulin, but not necessarily that an actual interruption has happened.

safety check, 106 - the pods consistently run safety checks. During one of the checks, it discovered a problem with one of the safety checks. An example, the light on the “up” button of an elevator does not work. The elevator may still function fine, but the safety check identifies the button light is not working…

This one is more related to the cannula:
occlusion, 000 - build up of pressure in the cannula was detected. This can be caused by things like a kink in the cannula, blood tissue in the cannula, crystallization of insulin in the cannula, a bad infusion site (bruise, tattoo, scar tissue)

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Thanks for this list @Eric2. I have one more error code for you:

19-13600-00051-018 Static Electricity

This happened yesterday while I was putting on my winter coat.

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Hey! How did you do that? I’ve been an OmniPod user for about 3 years now and never had an 018 error code failure before. After reading your post, I had an 018 failure within 12 hours! This occurred in the middle of the night and the blanket I was using did have a little static to it. I hope this isn’t the beginning of a new batch of errors.

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