Omnipod not impressed


#1

Ok so my four year old has been using the omnipod for almost a month we started December 10th. So far we have had 5 pump failures. Yes omnipod is replacing them but serious she is 4 and she screams like crazy every time we change it. She loves the thought of not having to have shots all day and I do to but when I say she gets upset about changes that’s a understatement. And I’m over all these failures. She can be sitting on floor playing with her toys and BAM pump failure on day 1-2. We have rarely gotten the whole 3 days. Any suggestions on what to do? We were also looking at t-slim pump before omnipod. Is there a way we could switch due to all the issues? I’m just at a lost I seem to be on phone with omnipod more often than not. And I am not jmporessed with this pump. At first it was great but with all these failures I just hate putting her thur that change more than I should have to.


#2

I’m sorry you are struggling with the Omnipod. While this system is successful for many, it doesn’t work for everyone. I tried the Omnipod several years ago, after a five month trial, I stopped due to too many occlusion alarms and poor glucose control.

Do you have access to a diabetes educator? Perhaps someone could observe your technique and make some helpful suggestions.

Your case makes a persuasive argument that no one should be saddled with a four-year commitment to a pump without a reasonable trial period. Thirty days is not long enough to decide whether a pump is going to work for the long term.

You face a daunting situation dealing with the fear and pain of a young child. I’m hoping some parents of young children diabetics can weigh in here with their perspective. I wish you the best!


#3

We actually started the pump day one with a educator we did everything stayed the whole day breakfast lunch and dinner while they watched us we got the all clear. I even spoke with omnipod and our educator since to make sure we were still doing it right. They both say it’s notbing we are doing but that “sometimes pods fail” which in my honest opinion is NOT ok for my child or anyone for that matter this is life saving medication so a luck of the draw crap doesn’t work for me. I understand each pump has its own issue and honestly I could prolly deal if it has just been one maybe 2 pod failure but FIVE and it’s not even 30 days for us. That’s insane! And I’m over it!


#4

You should ask them for a replacement box. If you get a bad box you can see high failures.

Just get the remainder of the box replaced instead of only replacing one at a time. Give it a chance with a new box. Try it a few months to make up your mind.


#5

I’ve read about Omnipods since they first came out. Failure rates seem not to have been improved, after all these years. Outrageous and sad for users. Sorry you got a bum system.


#6

Are they leaking? Or just getting knocked around too much? I have been on the system since May and doing fine but on occasion I feel I may have banged the pod up enough to notice some issues. Also I watch for highs right after using a new pod. Just to make sure it doesnt need a little extra push. Some great parents over on the Facebook group. they seem to help other parents figure things out…Hope you can get some help.


#7

I will give that a try thanks! I love the fact that it’s tubeless bc my little was scared of the tubes but at this point i dont know which would be worse


#8

I read that to but when we went to class and talked to rep and all they acted like it wasn’t that big of issue that they resolved jt


#9

No leaks just says insulin delivery stopped. And makes this long high pitched squeal that can only be silenced by taking the pod off and pushing the deactivate button in. So far it doesn’t seem matter what she does one time was in bath another sleeping lads time she was sitting in floor playing with toys. So i dont know. We always give her snack after we install a new pod so we can bolous her for something it seems to have helped reduce the pod switch highs. I’ll chrck on Facebook thank you


#10

I agree, it is probably just a bad box of pods. This happens occasionally with me, too. I call Insulet and they send replacements. Another thing, make sure the pod is not expired. It probably isn’t since you are a new user, but I’ve used a box of pods which were expired and 30% failed.


#11

“Just”?? I think that’s ridiculous and unacceptable. My pump is my life (well, of course I can revert to pens if needed, but a pump keeps me better regulated because of multiple basal rates throughout the day & night) so dependability is first and foremost.


#12

Eeek, ok that is a bit concerning. It is a great group over there. Let me know if you cannot find it.


#13

I think you got a bad box of pods - I would ask them to replace the entire box. In all of the years on the Omnipod, I have had only one bad box with 7/10 failures. After documenting all of then, and sending them all back I got a complete new box and was back to normal with a 99.9 success rate overall. There will be intermittent issues with any system, but from what I see here - it is just a bad box of pods.


#14

Failures are super rare for me. Rarer than for any pump I have used previously. But, perhaps her 4 year old body mass is just to small for the device. Not enough fatty tissue for a good fit? That can be an issue.


#15

Omnipod is replacing the box of pods. We got the other replacements in the mail Saturday and she has one on now so far no issues we change it tomorrow. Fingers crossed it improves. Love the tubeless factor for her freedom and she wise but also have to have something that works.


#16

My 8 year old daughter has been using Omnipod a year on the 6th of January. We have had maybe 3 pod failures similar to yours. But on many occasions pods have only been effective the first 2 days. There are times where the insulin has not been effective and lowering her sugars. Make sure that you are pinching a decent amount of fat around the pump while it is clicking during the 5 second insertion process. We have had to change sites from tummy to her lower back. Works great too. Don’t get too frustrated. Like you we love the tubeless. Best of luck.


#17

I seriously don’t understand why people reconcile pump issues such as defects or improper infusion with “we love the tubeless”. How do you set aside those serious issues? Isn’t reliability all that important? Or day-to-day infusion dependability?


#18

In my case, the regular sets were just always causing issues. I really only do well with Silhouettes/Comforts, and my skin literally seems to reject them after two days. I also have trouble placing them because I have about two trigger fingers and arthritis issues going on. The pod auto inject feature is perfect for me. Then again, I have only returned one faulty pod since March. I dont even think it was faulty, but it was my second one and I may have mangled it.


#19

Hi, Dave.

As you know, there are many ways to manage diabetes. And as you know, people are different. Their perspectives, values, interpretations, life experiences, hobbies - obviously I can go on and on - are different.

That is what I believe to be the reason that people are willing to tolerate shortcomings of one method of management over another. My experience is that every therapy for diabetes is imperfect and users are usually fortunate enough to have therapy choices. They choose based upon their perspectives, values, lifestyle, etc.

I’m surprised that you therefore have difficulty understanding why someone would make a choice like this.

If you are truly curious, and don’t mean to imply that people are wrong for their choices, I will say that for Caleb, OmniPod and being tubeless is definitely his preference. He has used the Medtronic pump as well. There have been periods of using OmniPod where Caleb has had difficulty. The original, larger Pods kinked at times. He had a period where he had to change his Pod every two days rather than three bc his numbers would rise on the third day. Very early on, we had Pod errors and static issues. These were frustrating experiences - maddening at times.

Part of staying with OmniPod has been simply a matter of dealing with the many variables one needs to deal with when living with diabetes. We have been patient to understand why these issues were occurring rather than presume OmniPod is a bad product and move on. We learned that Pod placement matters. We learned methods to mitigate against static. We concluded that the insulin we were using was clogging, and the Pod was not the issue. There’s a lot to learn and adapt to and it takes time.

When Caleb experienced fully the Medtronic system, there were things he came to really appreciate. Errors are really not an issue, although when they do occur, they are devastating and emergent - different than just needing to change a Pod. Insulin goes a much longer way with medtronic - you can change a site without having to change a reservoir. There were also things he did not like.

Caleb rarely has Pod errors these days. After nearly twelve years we’ve worked out most kinks. Nevertheless, the errors are tolerable considering the freedom that being tubeless means to Caleb. It is a personal preference of his. He simply prefers it. It probably has something to do with the fact that’s what he’s known since he was four. But another big component is that it is so much easier to do many of the things he does often - swimming, dancing and other sports. A tube in those instances presents a daily incumbrance.

Caleb used Medrontic twice in the last few years for a period of several months each. When he went back to OmniPod it was a relief for him.


#20

Hi, Christina.

Caleb started using OmniPod when he was four as well. We struggled at first. I’ve found any change in therapy creates some level of stress. Making a big change like starting a new pump has a higher level of stress than others. If you’re having errors, then the stress is compounded. I’m sorry. I understand how overwhelming and upsetting this can be.

Everyone is different, but maybe some of our experience can help. In twelve years of Podding, I don’t think we have ever had a bad batch of Pods. We have had periods of intense errors, but I’ve never concluded a batch was bad. I know people feel they have had that experience.

Caleb’s first winter was troubling - he had a lot of static errors. Back then, an error code could be translated, so we knew exactly what errors relating to static. I don’t think they do that anymore. Is there any chance that static could be an issue? This was more prevalent with their original system, but we are still aware of times of static - like winter months and silky jackets or getting the laundry out of the dryer.

Caleb also had issues with placement. We had to learn better places than others. His body was small so the Pod was bigger proportionately (as well as just plain bigger with the original system). For example, if Caleb wore the Pod on his lower back with the cannula pointing toward his side rather than his spine, it was more susceptible to kinking and therefore occlusion. When Caleb was little, it was hard to find spots that worked. And it was hard to convince him to try a new spot - that change was traumatic.

When customer service says you are doing everything correctly, they are looking at the manual and very methodically concluding that steps are being followed and therefore it is not user error. While that is true and I’m not suggesting it’s using error, I do believe that using a pump to replace a human organ is unfortunately more involved than plug and play. So although you aren’t doing anything wrong, I do think it can take some time to figure out some strategies to make the system work for you.

Are you using anything as a barrier before placing the Pod? What type of insulin are you using? Are the errors, “errors” or “occlusions?” Has Insulet offered to take the Pods and review them for the cause of the error? Where are you placing them?

Separate from trying to figure out the cause of the errors, you have the issue of inserting new pods, off schedule and more often than you expect. I get it - not fun for anyone. We’ve been through this. I had a prescription for numbing cream but never got it filled. have you considered that? There’s also the idea of putting ice on the site before insertion, or keeping a spoon in the freezer for the same purpose - the intent to make the pinch less painful. These were suggestions from other users. They never worked for us, but were successful for them. I think our lack of success had more to do with my lack of commitment to these methods. I didn’t want to rely on a frozen spoon for worry that I’d have to change a pod and not have access to one. Do you pinch when you insert? There were definitely body parts that Caleb found more comfortable the others for insertions.