Too many Pod failures! Is this common?

My daughter has experienced 6-7 failures in past three months. Is this normal and acceptable?

2 failures were after two days of use. These resulted in morning highs that lasted all day till the pod change in the eve.

1 case where pod was delivering more insulin than it should resulting in lows at every measurement. The lows went away after next pod change. Hence I suspect the pod was over-delivering.

2 cases of unexplained Pod error and the pod deactivated itself

2 pods that did not beep after insulin fill.

The first few months with the Pod were great but now every pod change is accompanied by anxiety and concern about its working or not. Given all the issues people have been having with pods, how could Insulet be allowed to carry on like this?

Should these type of incidents be reported to some agency (FDA?) to push Insulet for better manufacuring controls?

I probably average 1 or 2 actual pod "failures" a month. I've been on the Omnipod since October of 2008 and I had more problems at first as I learned but there are actual pod "failures" too. Those "failures" are indicated by a couple of things: 1- when the pod doesn't give you a double beep upon filling. In this case many of us have gone ahead and "primed" it. If it primes it often works fine for the 3 days. On occasion it begins to squeal during the priming because there's a communication error between the pod and the PDM. In that case, report it to Insulet and they will replace it. 2- the unexplained errors where the pod deactivates itself. Also, report this and they will take you through a process of giving them the error reference code and in most cases they replace a pod that does that. They do not replace pods that work for 48 hours and then become less effective nor do they replace pods for occlusions. What kind of insulin are you using in the pod. I only discovered in the last month that both Apidra and Humalog are labeled to be replaced after 2 days in a "reservoir", ie, the pod. I found that frequently the last 18-24 hours of the 3 days that the BGs went up. I have switched to Novolog because it is labeled as having a 6 day life in a "reservoir" and that has made a huge difference for me in getting good effectiveness for the full 3 days. I have never thought that the pump over delivered. I have run a series of lows but I attributed it to something else going on in my lifestyle like exercise, stress, or illness. Sometimes the cannula gets plugged with fatty material or blood or gets bent and so the pod quits delivering insulin properly and the BGs go up. Insulet does not considered that case a pod "failure". They're really good to replace ones that meet their criteria as a "failure" and I ALWAYS let them know. Despite these annoyances, the Omnipod is the best tool I have had to deal with
diabetes in the 46 years I've had to treat it. Reporting to the FDA? Never considered it myself. I suspect Insulet is more responsive than the FDA would be. Good luck.

How did you find out about the life in the reservoir? We have definitely noticed third day highs - my son's prescription for pods is for one every 2 days, but we don't always remember that. I'd be interested in the "life in the reservoir" information to take to our endo.

I went to the Google and put in "Comparisons of Apidra, Humalog, and Novolog insulins" as my search term. The site on which I found the most information and and easy way to compare them side by side was: Google has the information under the title, "Rapid Acting Analogues , Insulin Aspart , Novolog ® Insulin Lispro ...". The three rapid acting insulins are each given a section in which their characteristics are laid out in the same format so it's fairly easy to compare the information side by side. I copied it into MSWord and printed it out into three "packets" to compare. It was 14 pages of material but very useful. My DBE who works closely with my endo was able to get me a sample bottle of Novolog to try and I keow within 3 days that it worked better for me than the Apidra I've been using since October of 2008. Hope this helps.

This happened to us starting in November of 2010, and we had a ton of problems. I asked my son if it was enough to switch to another pump, or go back to shots. He was adamant that even though he was frustrated, he never wanted a tube or shots. So we fought through it and the problems went away. We've had some problems over the past couple of months too but nowhere near as bad as it was that time. We just deal with it and move on.

I am so frustrated with the FDA that I would never get them involved myself. My son started on the pod 2 and a half years ago - with the promise that the "newer, smaller pods" were about to be released. Thanks to the FDA, that hasn't happened. Animas and Dexcom have both been reprimanded for not reporting problems to the FDA. I'm pretty sure all that did was increase supply problems and possibly increase cost. Yes, I'm skeptical. I think the FDA is important, but we used to be ahead of other countries in diabetes care and now they are getting all the cool stuff and we are way behind. The smaller pods are out overseas, the Navigator is still available, and companies seem to prefer to start somewhere where the FDA isn't going to bother them anymore - so I'm not a big fan.

If you havent gleened by the responses already, It sounds like you are expereincing a pretty "normal" 2% failure rate, I have been a podder since launch in 2005 and I am experiencing a much higher rate of failure (about 20%). In every carton of 10 pods I find at least 2 will be faulty. As far as "reporting" this to the FDA, I agree this would probably be more aggravation then it is worth. Right now, I just deal with the aggravation of faulty pods (Insulet does usually just replace bad pods...but they only send replacements with your "next order") I recntly had 3 failures in a row, when I called insulet they told me this was "very unlikely" which I took exception to...when they told me I would get 3 replacement pods with my next order I told them I would not be making another order as i was no longer going to use the omnipod, they did not even flinch! Obviously, they know they have a provblem so that is just "The way it is."

I don't order directly from Insulet. They don't deal with Medicare and in order for my secondary insurance to cover the pods I have to have a denial from Medicare. However, they do send me replacement pods once a month. I too have about a 20% failure rate (10 pods a month + two failures). I'm sticking with it because it is still the best tool I've had to help me live with diabetes. I'm a low insulin user (<30 u/day) and there is no way to accurately take 3-5 units or less by injection with a pen or a syringe on MDI and I HATED a tubed pump. When something better comes along I'll be the first in line to use it. I find Tech Support to be infinitely patient and polite AND easy to access. I wish you well in finding a better answer. We all want that.

I am interested in why you believe the pod over delivered. My son has been podding for 4 years now and we have had some failures and some frustrating days, as have most folks, but I have never had a case where I thought the pod over delivered. Are you sure that there were not other factors at play? There are so many factors that can give you a day, half day or several days of lows when you don't expect them. Also, did you look at the history at the time and see that it calculated too much or you think it calculated correctly but delivered more?

The reason I am asking more about this issue is that, in my mind, this is a very serious problem, should it have actually been the pod over delivering.

I started on 12/12/11. Since then, I've had:
1 failure where an unopened pod started screeching (replaced)
1 failure where continuous beep after filling with insulin (replaced)
1 time when there was blood in the cannula (replaced)
1 time when I got "insulin delivery stopped" message (should be getting replaced)

I had asked Insulet when I was interested in the Omnipod, what the failure rate was so that I could ensure an adequate insulin prescription. Surprise, surprise they "didn't know" that information.

Roche bought an Israeli company that also has a tubeless pump that is smaller than Omnipod. It has a permanent piece and a dispensable piece. Supposed to be launched this year.

What I am curious about is: after a pod has been placed on your body, is it safe to suck the insulin out if you get a failure? I only suck it out and reuse it if it is a unused pod.

And do you guys ever take "breaks" from the pod and go back to MDI?

Also, how do you know if it is an occlusion? Is there an error message?

Oh and I've had several post-pod change highs that I believe were due to the pod and not the meal (had eaten a relatively "safe" meal that i'd eaten before). My new strategy is to bolus for a meal first before the pod change early in the day (breakfast or lunch), and then give 0.5-1 unit extra with the new pod. I watch carefully to make sure I don't go low, but this way I can get the insulin flowing.

I used to do the same thing, Bolus immediately after a change of pod. I did it this way for about 2 years until I grew tired of having to do an immediate bolus, so I created a new basil i named "change day" and I swith to this basil every change day. It turns out (after much trial and error) this basil is 2X (twoice) my normal basil (I am sure it is different for everyone). It just gives me more peadche of mind, Knowing i am treating the problem proactively.

Annie- Yes, the PDM should display the word "Occlusion" when it happens...that is the only indication. No details on the occlucsion.
The tubeless from Roche is called the "Solo", you can sign up for email updates at I am very interested as well, but it has gotten some "bad" reviews here at TU, chedk out some of the comjments on my page here. Finally, I dont know if this is "advised" but I just cant waste so much insulin with all the pods that go bad on me, so yes, I have drawn the insulin out of a bad pod that has been on my bod for more than a day. And, yes, I have tone back to MDI a few times when I am sick and tired of the problems with INsulet, I also switched to the Anamas "Ping" for a few days...but could not tolerate the tubing.

I have always reused the insulin from my failed pods. I haven't had a problem with the recycled insulin. I have read how others lose lots of insulin and I have always wondered if they actually throw their insulin away with the pod, or if they just SAY they did.

Insulet has always asked if it was ok if they shipped my replacements with my next order. That has always been fine with me except for one time when I have almost a full box that needed to be replaced. I called them and told them I was getting low on my pods and they went ahead and sent my replacements.

I am very concerned about the pod over delivering as well. Since this can be a serious issue I am starting a new discussion on it with all the data that makes be think so.


Here's a new one for ya....I have had MORE than my share of Pod issues/failures....and I finally went to the Anamas "Ping" for a bit (30 day trial), unfortunately I found the tubing to be more than I could handle. Shortly after that, I just decided the Pod QC was just inadequate and decided to go back to MDI. I called INsulet to stop the auto ship of new pods (they had already shipped me well over a years worth of pods and I just figuted I would use up the stuff before going back to MDI) yet today, I received ANOTHER CASE (again, unordered so legally i can keep it, and will) I called Insulet again (5th time in the past two weeks) to tell them that the case is now mine free of charge as I had altready tried to remove myself from the auto ship program....they were in fact confused although the rep could see that i had requested to stop the autoship....just an example of how they do business. One would think that a company providing supplies to diabetics would try to make life a little easier for go with Insulet! ALL I CAN SAY IS, STAY ON TOP OF THIS COMPANY IF YOU CHOOSE TO DO ANY BUSINESS WITH THEM!!!

I recently had one box of pods that 7 out of 10 had issues. 4 did not beep when insulin was injected into it and 3 had errors after about 2 hours of wearing and had to be deactivated. I placed a call to Insulet and the rep there told me that as soon as I have an issue with the pod, to save the pod, call Insulet and let them know what occurred. There is a lot number on the back of the pod that they need to log so that they can research if there is an issue with the production lot. As to the 3 pods that had to be deactivated, she stated that they do not warranty those as those are site issue and she went through a list of questions about how it is installed, was the insulin at room temp when it was placed in the pump etc. At the end of the call, she agreed to replace all 7 pods and sure enough a day and a half after the call, a box showed up at my door.