Pod failed as it was being filled

Today my 13 year old daughter, Teresa, was going through the regular pod changing process. As she was filling the new pod with Humalog it gave the usual long and loud pod failing signal. The PDM reported then that the pod had ceased to deliver insulin (which it never started since it had not even primed).The same thing happened to her just a week and a half ago. Last week we called Insulet and they replaced the failed pod and we expect that they will also replace this one. Have any of you had a similar experience? I thought I would check with this community to see if we could find some common denominator to report to Insulet.

How is your PDM communicating with your pod while you’re filling it? My PDM doesn’t connect to my pod until it starts the priming process so when my fail during fill (and I’ve probably had 10 or so in the last year and a half that have) I don’t get any error message. I’ve found that mine are more likely to fail during fill if I’m exposed them to extreme temperatures. But some fail anyway even without that. Good luck finding a common thread!

I agree with Rebvecca…

did you let the insulin “warm up”…I find the same thing happends to me everytime I try to change the pod and refill with insulin that is straight out of the fridge. I take a vial out at least 4-5 hours before I go through the change process. According to insulet, insulin must be at room temp in order for the fill/prime process to go smoothly.

We had that about a month ago. It was a little crazy. After filling Pods for three years I couldn’t figure out what was up. Insulet suggested leaving the Pod in the plastic tray until priming was complete to minimize jostling. I didn’t really buy into that solution, but it hasn’t happened since.

Filling it with cold insulin or not enough could also cause an error.

Oops. I misread. My comment relates to priming not filling. We have had the occasional issue with filling, but not prevailing.

Our pods fail most often before we get to the priming stage. We load the insulin but we never actually hear the two beeps. There has been only one pod that lost communication with the PDM during priming. We do warm up our insulin before loading for about 30 minutes and we do prime them in the little plastic trays. It doesn’t seem to matter one way or another.

how quickly are you pushing the insulin into the pod? A quick bolus? Like 150 units in 2-3 seconds? Or 150 units in 5-6 seconds, or longer? I’ve never had one fail the way you describe, so I can’t speak with certainty, but I push my insulin slower (to hopefully help prevent airbubbles as well). I mean, you know you can see air bubbles created if you draw back really quickly on the plunger when filling the syringe…so to me the same type of reaction could occur inside the pod from bolusing it too quick (it’s not in a vacuum at that point, it’s a positive pressure environment, so it may not be occurring…but to me it seems like it could still happen :slight_smile:
That’s the only suggestion I have at the moment: fill it slower, with insulin that’s had time to ‘warm up’ to room temp.

I’ve had pods fail during the priming process too. When I’ve called Insulet to talk with them, one customer service rep I spoke with said that if I don’t hear the two little beeps - I should consider that pod defective and let them know. I’ve also had the pod fail just as the priming process is almost completed. Anymore I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t consider it a safe pod to use unless: I hear the two little beeps when I’m filling the pod and I see the screen that says “Place on infusion site”.

Another thing that I did when I had a number of pods fail in one day is to write down both the lot number and serial number - just for my records. It did turn out the my serial numbers of the pods that failed were in sequence (which Insulet says can’t possibly happen-but it did).

You’ve had the “heavy weights” (in terms of knowledge, I find) give you thier advice, i think you’ll be OK now, Good LUCK and PEACE!

You are correct. The pdm is not communicating with the pod yet when it fails because it is before priming. So the message that insulin delivery has ceased must be from the previous pod. However, there is an alarm history reference that ends in 92 at the time of the failure.

She usually uses room temperature insulin and today for sure it was at room temperature. Thanks for this information. I will make sure it always is at room temperature.

Last year in March, after more than a year of using the omnipod without major issues, she started having an inordinate number of occlusions for no apparent reason. The insulet guy told her to pinch her skin before inserting the canula. We could not believe that something that simple could fix the problem but it did. Like I said, this had not been an issue for a year and all the sudden it was. So now she always pinches. I am not sure if she was moving the pod as she was filling it but I will tell her to keep the pod in the plastic tray and on a table while filling and priming to minimize jostling.

I guess if a pod is going to fail it is better that it fails before it is in place!

Good suggestion about filling the pod more slowly. I do not know how fast she is filling it now but it could always be slower/

Thanks, Steve!

The only time I’ve ever had a pod fail, I also heard a clicking inside the pod as I was filling it. It also seemed a bit harder than usual to push the insulin in, although definitely not hard enough to make me feel like I was forcing anything. I did hear the two beeps, but then the pod started screaming at me partway through its priming.

It is positive that the pod alarms go off when something is wrong with the pod. I will tell Teresa to watch for unusual signs like you describe. Thanks!

The error was apparently with the last pod, as it probably didn’t get “deactivated” before being discarded. And, yes, try filling the pod slowly. I wish you the best.

Actually, the “All History” confirms that a pod was deactivated at 2:17p and there was a pod alarm at 2:22p. Thanks for the good wishes!