I’ve been using the dexcom cgm for about 6 weeks. I’ve had at least 5 sensors that fell off withing 2 days. The tape just seems to not stick. Other times, it lasts the full 7 days without any problem. Any suggestions?
Prep the site with alcohol wipes or skin prep beforehand (wait for it to dry of course). Then I use Hypafix tape (I use 2 pieces of tape overlapping in the center) over the sensor and the tape. Then I use Skin Tac if necessary. For me the Hypafix tape covering it keeps the other tape in as new shape, and I'm getting about 3 weeks out of each sensor. But if none of that really works, I think using skin tac over the Dexcom (and hypafix) tape should do the trick. My experience is that the skin tac will permeate through the tape and then stick it to the skin when it dries. Anyway, that works for me.
Opsite Flexifix is pretty awesome tape. I love the stuff! I've run a lot the last few summers and the "bubble" by my CGM will fill up with sweat, interstitial fluid, etc. and I'll pop it with a lancet to keep it going. But the tape stays solid.
Does that stuff got over the dexcom and its tape, and does it breath well? Looks like a plastic sheet.
I think it would. It comes on a 4" roll and you cut it to order so you can cut little strips to patch together or just a big hunk. I've seen enough Dexcoms to think it would cover one up....
The medics use these for securing IVs, if nothing else is working, you could try. They work pretty good. 3M™ Tegaderm™ Transparent Film Dressing....
Thanks for the advice. I’ll try them out. I’ve also had some trouble with skin irritation with some tapes in the past, so hopefully I can find something that works.
Some people swear by putting one of the above mentioned tape products directly on the skin then placing the cgm on top of it, so the dex adhesive is onto clean tape instead of skin… Of course this requires either injecting the sensor right through the tape or getting pretty crafty to make a hole properly aligned for the sensor… I think if I used a cgm again I’d give this method a try. I also had great luck with cutting opsite into strips and just using it as tape over the dex adhesive.
We put these over wounds at the fair, where people are sweating like pigs and walking for miles and getting into everything under the sun. They seem to stay on real well.
I would try using SkinTac and/or Tegaderm to see if it helps first.
Of course, there is also the possibility that you may have received a batch of sensors that the adhesive patch isn't functioning as it was designed to. If you haven't already, I'd contact Dexcom/J&J to report that you're having issues with the sensors staying attached. I've had to do this in the past for infusion sets that fell off or didn't stick at all, and they happily offered replacements and all they wanted in return was the lot number off the box, and for me to return any of the sensors that had fallen off so that they could look into it with more detail.
In the case of my bad infusion sets it was determined after their investigation that the root cause of the problem was improper storage by the vendor I purchased them from. They asked why I wasn't purchasing direct and after I explained it was because they were more expensive they matched both the payment terms and the discounts of the vendor so that I could buy direct from the manufacturer. This also meant that they were able to track every lot they sent me from that point moving forward.
Does it breathe as well as a cloth tape? I use 2 pieces and overlap in the middle, so I cat switch the covering tape off without pulling on the sensor's tape. I'm sure that would work with the fixifit.
Good to know! Thanks.
The following procedure works well for me. I take an old sensor and remove all the adhesive from it. Then I place the old sensor platform on a 4" patch of Hypafix and trace around the sensor platform. I cut out the center where the sensor platform was resting and then place the tape minus the center around my Dexcom G4 sensor that I've just placed on my body. I usually try to do this at the same time I've placed a new sensor. Most of my sensors last between 14-25 days and the adhesive edges stay in place. I use Hypafix because I am allergic to Tegaderm. I buy the Hypafix online at Amazon.
As others noted, I use Tegaderm film. I put two over the whole sensor. Crosswise so the sensor is covered and there is enough to have a tape edge beyond the sensor tape. The sensor does not have to "breathe."
And, when I remove it, it pulls off easily and does not leave any stickiness on the sensor. I only know this about Tegaderm though. Have not tried the others. I have to add one more tape on day 7, after trimming the curled up parts of the Tegaderm, usually on top part where shower hits it. I use mine for 14 days exactly and change it.
There were never any problems with the Medtronic sensor falling off, only that I could never get it inserted in the first place. This sounds like kinda a common problem. ??? Or are you guys mainly just extending the life by using tape ? Doesn't it start to hurt or do you worry about tissue damage from leaving in that long? I cant stand it and tear them out after 5 days, even if they might have been able to last.
I've tried the various tapes, etc. and found a system that is much more effective and simpler than applying additional tape, and gets me a solid two weeks without risk of it coming off. Firstly, make sure the area is clean. I usually change sensors after a shower. Then, apply it normally. Once applied, give it an hour or so and then apply Skin Tac to the sensor tape (http://www.amazon.com/Skin-tac-adh-oz-Skin-Tac-H/dp/B001LZUWP6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1391273154&sr=8-2&keywords=skin+tac). This works much better than applying Skin Tac before applying the sensor because it permeates the sensor tape and bonds it to your skin. Then, by the end of the first week I'll repeat this process or earlier if the edges are starting to come up.
I'm very physically active and have never had a sensor come off using this method. Also, I've found that the sensor accuracy improves significantly by the second week.
Hypafix! Cover the whole device. You can buy it in 4" rolls on Amazon.
I bought various types of tape (nexcare paper, plasticky one) that were for "sensitive" skin which is kind of BS. It would still hurt my skin, especially since I'd have to keep replacing the tape...then I discovered tegaderm! I get the 2-3/8 Inches X 2-3/4 Inches. On amazon you get 100 for $30 bux. I cut out the shape of the CGM (fold the tegaderm in half like cutting out a snowflake) and wear it over. The materials is so think and so comfortable...and it sticks and is gentle on the skin. It's amazing...
I use Skin Tac ( the bottle, not the wipes) I swab the Skin Tab on the sticky part of the sensor (after removing the paper0. Once it is somewhat dry and tacky, I insert the sensor as usual. I pay out of pocket for my Dexcom, (my insurance only covers CGM for Peds) so I try to get the maximum length of term. I can get about 16-20 days out of one insertion. With the Skin Tac there is no peeling away.
I was getting at least three weeks of very accurate readings with sensor on back of arm with opsite flexfix placed over dexcon adhesive tape on first day of insertion. Used an old sensor bed to cut out a template. Would need to trim the flexfix at about the two week mark and replace. If the sensor bed starts to lift your numbers will go off leading to the need to replace the sensor.
Currently I am using tegaderm under the sensor and have placed it on the girls at about 10 o'clock on right or 2 o'clock on the left. Put it where it is covered by the bra cup. Have not needed opsite over since the bra helps to protect it. Am getting the same level of accuracy as I had on back of arms without the awareness of placement, problems with bumping or with tape peeling. And have not been having skin sensitivity issues. Could not use skin tack since I seem to be allergic to it.