Pod failures getting ridiculous, it can't be only me!

I am an OmniPod user in the UK. So luckily its not costing me money. But I am getting so many failures it started to worry me, because the NHS is footing the bill and there must be more than the 'bad batch' excuse I keep getting. Also when I speak to MyLife they keep saying this is very weird, you are the only one!

I had been happy using the OmniPod since September 2012, then got upgraded to the new model with the smaller pods in December 2012. Then a couple of months ago it started:

At first a couple of pods in 3 boxes (my usual delivery is 3 boxes). Which is acceptable.
Now I am at 29 failed pods in the last 40. Which is nearly 3 out of every 4. So if I am lucky I get 3 working in a box, usually its 2! The way I am looking at this, its a box a week: when it should be a box a month?!

I am quite resistant to insulin, so I need a lot of it. I have a pretty steady 2u an hour basal and I have an insulin to carb ratio of 4u per 10g. So a pod lasts about 48hours, but can be up to 60 if I really watch what I am eating. I shouldn't be doing this should I?

Is anyone else experiencing this? Especially in the UK?

And does anyone have any tips as to what I am doing wrong?


Call Insulet, ASAP. They will replace the pods, and also might help figure out what's up.

I am based in the UK. The company over here is MYLIFE.
They are not very helpful. They have replaced 10 pods out of 44 that I have reported.

They blame everything and anything on anything and everything but themselves =)

I have had 4 suspect pods / occlusions since late January. MyLife sent me a spare PDM for my holiday. I’m happy!

Recently someone posted that you can’t fill the new pods with more than 200u, even a little bit, or it has a high chance of failure.

Yes; I read the post too. The information came directly from Insulet, here's the link:


Executive summary:

"I got a call from Insulet over the weekend, and they said their investigation into the problem has determined that pods should not be filled above 200 units."

John Bowler

Thanks for these tips, I usually fill the syringe until it stops. Which is over 200u's. Which is how my diabetic nurse showed me.

I will give it a go on my next change. I will post an update soon!

Fingers crossed that will be the answer.



After making it through my first box, no errors, filling as I usually do to the very end of the syringe... I had my first error on my 2nd box. Filled the 2nd pod from the 2nd box stopping below the 200 mark..and it appears to have worked. I'll try again tonite when I change.

Still crazy to me that such a tiny amount of extra insulin can be blamed for the failures

I haven't had a priming failure since I started limiting the fills to 200 units, and I had many prior to that. Also, make sure the PDM is very close to the pod when priming. I leave the pod in the tray, position the tray so that the pod is on the left-hand side, and place the PDM right beside the tray to the left -- actually touching the tray. This, also, has helped reduce priming failures.

Success! Well the first attempt at filling to 200u worked, I didn't get the dreaded beep of death!

Lets hope it continues.

Thanks to everyone that has helped out!


I thought it was supposed to be the opposite....not that it matters....

As far as the 'markers' on the syringe: the belief that filling to the 'max' which is over 200 is as wrong as expecting a fulling functioning pod when you fill it to LESS than the minimum line. I have to do the minimum or no prime... the failures can happen at each end of the vial capacity. It's hard to meet the minimum line so as not to 'waste' insulin, but that's the way I have to roll.

I disagree. The syringe has 'min', '100', '150', '200' and 'max'. No one is filling beyond 'max' because there is also a hard stop in the syringe which prevents the plunger going beyond 'max'.

Elsewhere Insulet say the maximum the pod can *deliver* is 200, but that's not the limit the syringe says. Does 'min' mean you have to fill to at least '100'? No: the documentation (UST400, page 47), says that "[t]he Pod requires a minimum of 85 units * * * [t]he Pod can deliver up to 200 units". It says we must fill "at least to the MIN". It contains a whole load of other warnings, but nothing about the "MAX" line or suggesting that more than 200 units will cause a problem, other than that you might not get all the units you put in out.

This really is an error, probably a design issue, maybe a manufacturing issue, in the new pods.

When insulin is injected into the pod it pushes the reservoir plunger back. The plunger has limited travel; eventually it hits the end of the reservoir. Presumably in the new pods as it reaches the end of the travel it also creates problems in the driver gears. We know from the photographs that these have been redesigned (this seems to be the major part of making the Pod smaller.)

No doubt Insulet will fix it; indeed I'm willing to bet a small sum, enough to buy a beer (20-50g carbs) that some poor engineering type person is working 24 hours a day to fix it.

John Bowler

Sorry, maybe I wasn't as clear as I had hoped I was: the people who were reporting problems seemed to indicate that they filled past the recommended 200, and sometimes the Max and that seemed to trigger the failures. I never go near that level so can't speak to the problem other than to react to what others have experienced or stated. Perhaps Insulet should not place that 'stop' anywhere but at the 200 level and then the failures could not happen due to an 'overfill'. I am just glad that the fix was so simple.

I’m in the Uk too and on the newer pods since December and had a load of failures and getting increasingly concerned. I’ve reported everyone and had them replaced but was getting really fed up with the whole thing. I’d only had 3 failures over a year with the old ones. Fortunately the last 3 weeks have been occlusion free and am crossing my fingers that this continues, the size is very attractive but the high sugars I get while the new pod beds in and the alarm at inconvenient times wasn’t. So annoying for you to be told you were the only one, it’s so not true! Maybe they are just bedding in, very annoying to be treated as an idiot though. By the way, I use no more than 90 units over three days so the problem wasn’t needing more than 200 units for me.

I have now gone through 3 pod changes, since my original post, and all seems good now. I am about to start a new box, so lets see how it goes!

I am also suffering with higher than normal sugars since I started on the OnmiPods .I am not sure if the pods or something else thats changed with me! My biggest problem is that I have a high resistance to insulin. So for a 100 carb meal, I inject 25u.
This means I have to extend pretty much every bolus. So I think that this leads to higher sugars while waiting for the extended insulin to be delivered. Also I tend to hit the max bolus on a high carb meal, which is 30u. Its so annoying, that I either wait for a while and do another bolus, or I get the novopen and inject any extra that I need.

I used to be on the Accu-Chek combo, that allowed me to bolus unto 50u (yes I have injected that a few times). I really don't want to go back to that, I so much prefer the extra freedom of the pods!

I was wondering id anyone has experience of Apidra?


weird... we had a rash of failures back in march,

old pods or new pods?

now on new pods I think we have had 1 fail out of box of 10 so far?

I’ve had a several failures recently. Several failures in the last few days.

All my pods are the new ones.

I have had two failures during the night with Occlusions. Perhaps it could be heat related?