PDM cycles on and off ....by itself?

I got a replacement PDM on July 9, 2010 because the old PDM would turn itself on with no help from anyone. The replacement is now doing the same thing and obviously it is eating batteries every two days. I'm just wondering if anyone else is encountering issues like this? One customer service rep told me to fold a fabric softener sheet and place it under the PDM before I put the 'skin' on the PDM - she said that would cut down on the static electricity??

Omnipod is supposed to be the advantages of pump therapy and none of the issues.....not so with me. I'm really discouraged.

Could not get in touch with anyone at Insulet this morning, so left a message with the tech support people over an hour ago. In the meantime my BG is climbing. I honestly don't think I'm getting any basal or bolus insulin. I think I will just take this pod off and try using my 1st generation PDM to see if that one works better. I hate these 2nd generation PDMs, the one I'm having trouble with is the 4th one in a little over a year. Not such a great track record in my opinion.

I’ve only been on the OmniPod for a couple of weeks but I haven’t had any trouble with it so far. It’s really weird that it’s happening with more than one PDM. Where do you usually keep it? Maybe there’s something weird close to the area, like magnets or something? Hmmm. I hope you figure it out soon! Do you have syringes on hand just in case?

Mayumi…I just had a 1st generation replacement sent. Mine started having lines across the graphics and they replaced it free after a year and a half or so of use. I was worried that I’d have to go with a new one as those of you with the newer PDM’s seem to have lots of issues with them. I had never had a problem with mine. They still have the old ones. Maybe you could switch. Very fustrating…I’m sorry you are going through this. Good luck.

My blackberry does that sometimes but not my PDM! Weird. I’ve heard static electricity can affect the PDM, but I haven’t noticed that in my case. I don’t think the PDM turning on and off should affect insulin delivery, unless you are saying that the PDM is not communicating at all when you bolus. That would be a big pain. I hope it all works out!

i have been on the omnipod for a few months now and the only trouble i have been having is that sometimes the screen lights up when nothing is touching it, but that doesnt seem to effect it much other then probably making the battery die faster

UPDATE: Earlier today I finally spoke with a customer service rep from Insulet. Today is the 3rd time I’ve called about this particular PDM turning itself off and on. The rep asked me which brand of battery I use? I told her - Duracell alkaline. Then she says “get yourself some Energizer Max batteries as some people are having better luck with them.” “Duracell seems to be making their batteries just a little bit shorter so the ‘connection’ between the battery and the contact strip in the battery compartment isn’t as good.”

So…off I go to the store to buy Energizer Max batteries. When I returned I had my husband (who is a numerical controlled machinist and works in very close tolerances in his job) measure the length of each battery - both Duracell and Energizer. The Duracell measured 1.745, the Energizer measured 1.750. He was using manual calipers which may not be as accurate as the digital ones. He told me that obviously the longer battery is going to make better contact, but in his opinion it could also be due to the fact that the metal contact strip inside of the battery compartment may have been bent out a little further on one battery than the other. IMHO we have two possibilities here…and Insulet wants to blame the batteries being different lengths OR it could be that during the manufacturing process of the PDM the tolerance of the battery compartment was comprimised.

When I changed the pod this morning I used my 1st generation PDM that I’ve had since 12-15-2008 and it still works. I haven’t had one time where it ever failed me. My husband said that more than likely during the manufacturing process of the batteries they probably pass through some kind of a ‘scanner’ that checks the length and that scanner would kick out any batteries that are not within a certain tolerance. Who knows what or who is responsible for problems like I had. One thing for sure - having a blood sugar of 276 as a result of not getting the proper amount of insulin during the night is NOT fun. I don’t really care whose fault it is, I only want a reliable delivery system. Please be careful my friends and thank you for reading my rant.

I had a problem about 9 months ago. My pod would not turn on unless I pulled the batteries and put them back in. They replaced the PDM. Hind site told me that if I pulled the battery contacts out a little so it makes better contact with the batteries it would work.

What are the odds that you would have in your household someone with the knowledge and tools to investigate!? Thanks for sharing your experience. I’ll bet it will help a lot of folks. I have heard others say that they have to remove the batteries and put them back in occasionally.

So, if the PDM fails, basal delivery stops? I guess I never really thought about that.

Elaine ~ I was told by the customer service rep that if the PDM fails basal delivery does not stop because it is automatically programmed into the pod at the time you place the pod onto the infusion site. I can’t dispute her word because there isn’t any way that I know of to disprove her statement. What I do know is I’ve had pods slide off my arm after a particularly warm shower and there is absolutely no alarm sounding at all!

My husband has spent his entire working life as a numerical control programmer (which means he tells a machine how to make a particular part through computer programs). Many of the parts he works on are very tiny and in very close tolerances such as the inner mechanics of a soft serve ice cream machine. Some parts can be ‘out of tolerance’ by more than the width of a human hair and other parts cannot vary at all. He drives me nuts when I ask him to read something really small on a food label in the store cuz first thing he does is to lift his glasses up off his nose so he can see better.

You are right. Once the pod is “programmed” it does not need anything from the pdm unless you have to change something. ie: bosul or temp basal. I, too, am a design engineer by trade and do look at evervything “very” analitical. It drives my wife nuts.

I have had pods slide off with no alarm as well. I guess that the alarm only sounds if the pod senses an occlusion. When it slides off, it is still working, just not where it is supposed to be!

Are you thinking that your insulin delivery was somehow compromised by the PDM turning on and off?

Wow - this explains a lot!! Every Duracell we’ve used turns off the PDM so I think you’ve got something with the batteries not being long enough. We use Rayovac batteries and they must be the longer type too because they work! Thanks for being such a good investigator. Maybe Insulet will read this board and figure out the problem!

Elaine, I’m not sure what caused it to be compromised. I can’t figure out any other explanation for going to bed with one lower number, not eating during the night and then having a fasting bg of 276. I’ve had dawn phenomona in the past but never gone from 120 something to almost 300 ever.

Susan, I’ve always used Duracell also mostly because they seemed to last longer. I also wear a hearing aid and used Duracell for it for the same long life reason. Lately the Duracell don’t seem to be lasting as long as they used to. I’m going to try the Rayovac and see how they work for me. Maybe Duracell should revaluate their mfg process…???

You are right! We should drop a note to their customer service - I’m sure if they hear enough complaints - it might make a difference.

It’s entirely possible that the stress you were experiencing while worrying about the PDM could have contributed to raising your BG. Remember that there are many factors that affect our BG, stress being one of them (and one of the biggest, in my experience).
The pods do NOT care if the PDM is on, off, or catapulted into deep space; they just keep on delivering the programmed basal rates until told to otherwise (or until the programmed expiration time). Our bodies, on the other hand, are much less predictable; the delicate hormonal balance that regulates BG levels can be thrown off by a host of things, 99% of which are out of the control of an insulin pump.

My guess is that the rep was simply looking for any explanation in an effort to give you some kind of answer to a problem that you’ve called about multiple times. Obviously, turning on and off and draining batteries is not normal behavior for PDMs and not all that common (first I’ve personally ever heard of it, and I read a lot about OmniPod users). So they don’t really know what could be causing it; could be a manufacturing defect, poor batteries, or, yes, even user-induced; they just don’t have a documented explanation for a problem that hasn’t been reported or investigated very much yet. So, they offered a possible explanation, a remote possibility, in an effort to give you something; the alternative was shrugging and saying "good one; we have no idea!"
What I’m saying is that I don’t think it’s a reason to assume some kind of conspiracy or malfeasance.
Did you ask for another replacement? I’d be very surprised if they didn’t grant one given the problem you’ve described.

I’m truly sorry if I’ve given anyone the impression that I think there is a conspiracy going on at Insulet or that I don’t like the OmniPod. This particular PDM has been acting strangely every since I got it on 7-9-2010. It not only cycles on and off by itself, but it will cycle off during the middle of a bolus, come right back on on the home screen and there is no history of the bolus ever being given. This PDM is also the 4th replacement of the 2nd generation PDM since the 2nd generation model was issued.

I didn’t mean to accuse you of that; sorry it came across that way. I was just thinking as I read the messages that someone might get the impression that Insulet was somehow being misleading about the problem you described.

I’ve been having a similar problem since getting a replacement second-generation PDM. My original second-generation PDM was having to be reset by removing the batteries because it would not come on. I also use Duracell Alkalines. I find that the new PDM will reset and come on if I jar or shake it. I’ve tried bending the contacts a little. Maybe that will help. I have a set of calipers at home. I’ll measure these batteries and report the results.