I'd like to put my two cents in regarding the Omnipod system and what I've experienced in the past few months using it. Prior to starting with the Omnipod system, I was a Minimed Paradigm 511 pump user for nearly 5 years. I got used to my Paradigm over the years but yearned for a pump that wouldnt have tubing that snagged on objects and was waterproof and had an integrated glucometer (I also was a Freestyle meter user).
So when the Omnipod became available this year for us California residents, I was very excited to try it out. My hgbA1C with my Paradigm pump was 6.6 in 09/07 so I was already in good control.
An intructor came by to train both myself and my CDE on use of the Omnipod in September and I have used it constantly since then.
Ok, Here are my findings. Although I have tried to be positive about the Omnipod system, I find that my blood sugars fluctuate way more than previous when I was using a Paradigm pump. This was also the experience of my CDE who used the Omnipod system on a trial basis. She ended up hating it.
Since the Pod gets tossed out every three days (and I've only had 1 truly malfunctioning pod in the 2 1/2 months that I've used the system) I don't think its a Pod malfunction issue but rather a design issue: is the cannula in the Pod too small and is the adhesive not strong enough to allow the likelihood that insulin is leaking out from the insertion site?
You see, the pod is not especially light and the adhesive used is the same type of adhesive dressing used on standard pump insertion tubing kits, but there's more weight applied to it. Hence after a short period of time, the pod starts to pull away from the skin (at least on me) and depsite all sorts of maneuvers including using medical adhesive to get it to stick on better and avoiding any moistruizing creams anywhere near the site, it still ends up being able to move at the canula site. The cannula also appears to be thinner and shorter than the cannula that I have used with my other insulin pump and I wonder whether this has an affect on insulin delivery.
On certain days, such as today, my blood glucose results roller coaster up and down and I finally give up and trying to manage them with the Omnipod alone and resort to shots to cover the highs.
Other days it appears to work well, with blood sugars fairly controlled, but without the degree of control that I had with my paradigm pump.
Its difficult to actually see if insulin is leaking out as the cannula is barely visible through the window in the pod.
I plan to call the omnipod support line and discuss this with them. It may be that
I need to try adifferent location (although I've experience the same results on my triceps area as my stomach) or perhaps try a different method of attachment.
Or perhaps, It might be that Omnipod is not right for me. Either way, I am hesitant to order new supplies given my experience.
The customer relations department at Insulet has been great so far in answering questions as they arise. Hopefully they can resolve this situation for me.
Our 9 yo likes to wear the pod on his arm, and since the pod does have a fair bit of mass it tries to fling itself off. He has developed an armband system to keep it stable. We cut the bottoms out of a white sock. He loves it cause he looks like and Indian.
We have had 6 pod failures in 3 months which concerns me. Insulet has taken it very seriously and wants every pod back that fails early and replaces it at no cost to us.
This was very interesting to hear from an experienced pumper and compare to the older (stable?) hardware. All in all we are delighted with our OmniPod and the company.
Thanks Gary and Dave for your comments. My concern with using the Omnipod on a place where it may be difficult to have access to the cannula window for viewing, such as using it on the arm, is that one cannot always assume that the cannula stays within the skin. Case in point, I had my pod on a few days ago and was in good control. At lunchtime, a premeal check showed my BG to be 330, so I gave myself enough insulin to cover and more to cover my meal.
I should have checked the pod or given myself insulin from my pen, as I proceeded to do some Xmas shopping and then found myself a bit disoriented after a few hours. Checked my BG, meter read HIGH-Check Ketones, at which point I bolused myself from my insulin pen. 1.5 hours later, I had a BG reading of 440!, which eventually came down to normal. The point I'm making is I didnt even realize that the cannula was out of the skin. I didnt pull on the pod at all nor was it loose from my skin. When I took the pod off, I found the adhesive to be wet (presumably from insulin).
So lesson learned.
I still like not having to deal with tubing and I like the fact that my meter and pump programmer is an all in one device. Ultimately if Omnipod pairs with a CGM system I think it would solve this problem. But I will never again try to treat a very high glucose with my pod, but rather assume there's a problem with the system. And I am hesitant to use it on my arm or any part of my body where I cannot physically see the cannula through the window. Covering it with ace wraps and arm bands may not be such a good thing.
When my son was dxd 13 years go, he was on regular and ultralente insulin. His meter took like a minute to get the reading! I am so thankful that technology has come so far in just his lifetime! Imagine what will be available for him in the future!
I've been diabetic since 1970 and have tried every infusion set before going back to shots about 6 months. My A1c I just completed was 6, but I take 6 shots a day and my blood sugar seems to get lower often with shots than the pump, but I have too much scar tissue in my stomach after years of shots and infusion sets for any infusion set I've used to work.
I too think the technology for the infusion sets is a joke. It's basically like walking around with an IV.
You can't tell me we don't have the technology to make a better infusion set.
I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one with problems with the OmniPod system. I also experience odd high BGs. Just this morning, I awoke at 433! Yikes! As you note, I also can have some days with great numbers, then for some odd reason, I get these huge highs. I've been (trying to) use the OmniPod since last July and have kept with it because of the fight I had with my insurance company to get it covered. I've been diabetic (type 1) for coming up on 38 years and have so far been pretty lucky and have suffered no complications so I know a little about good control and how to achieve it (last A1C was 6.5 and that's the highest in several years). I'm not at all happy with these incredible highs that I rarely if ever experienced with injections.
I have taken "vacations" from the OmniPod a couple of times since starting with it and get better control with MDI and Lantus although I do have more hypos. I thought maybe I was just too set in my ways after so many years, but your post makes me realize perhaps it's not all me. I've thought several times about quitting, but just haven't been able to give in!
I'm strongly considering ditching the pod and going back to a conventional pump. I've had a run of bad pods recently (either won't load or stop before 3 days), experienced the same unexplained highs (although i'm tempted to think the canulas either occlude/kink or dislodge from the skin entrance site) and given the lukewarm response that i get with customer service, I'm looking into replacing it with an Animas pump. I've been paying out of pocket for my omnipod :my insurance company won't cover it. It comes out to $350/ month for the pods whereas the Animas would be covered. Not crazy about being tethered to a convnetional pump again, but the honeymoon with Insulet corporation is coming to an end.
I tried a Minimed several years ago and didn't have much luck with it and had similar unexplained highs. My endo at the time asked me if I ever have skin allergies or sensitivity and oddly enough, I do! She thought that my skin just wouldn't accept having something there for several days and maybe tried to scar up around the cannula or maybe my skin just wouldn't absorb a continuous drip. It does make sense because most of my problems come in the second or third day of wearing a new pod or after changing the infusion set. I guess even if there is new technology, if it doesn't work as well as syringes--why change? Ah, well...at least I gave it a try.
My son is not using the Omnipod, but we are thinking about it. We are currently using the Medtronic Pump. Most people are able to change out their port every 3 days. However, after too many highs on the 3rd day, we switched to changing Reed's every 2 days. Try that and maybe you can get off the shots! =) Blessings!
My husband and 8 year old son have Animas pumps. Thanks for your insight on the Omnipod, since it is new to our area. I just wanted to let you know that I have never had better customer service in my life with anything as I have had through the Animas Company. Good Luck to you
My son who is 9 started on the Omnipod from the Cozmo back in January. We were very excited since he is an active baseball player. Having no tubing meant not having to dig into his layers of clothes to get to his pump. We are now ex-Omnipod users because of the issues you described. We had more pod failures than what you've had and the pod would pull away from the adhesive and not the adhesive pulling away from the skin. Although that did occur a few times the other was more frustrating. His blood sugars were out of control and most of the time we had to revert to shots.
We tried to be patient but when you have a childs life in your hands it's difficult to continue to wait for them to improve the product. We have been back on the Cozmo without 1 failure in the past 3 months. His blood sugars are much more under control.
Insulet was always good about replacing and I had no problem with their customer service. When I advised the local sales rep of our issues he asked one question, Is your son active? 9 year old boy, active? of course. That was the end of the conversation and he said it wasn't meant for everyone.
I hope there are improvements to the design that allow it to be more reliable in the future because it's a great concept. It's just not reliable enough for me yet. Although there are lots of users out there with no issues.
I have been on the omnipod for more than a month. I am 15, I skateboard, skimboard, scuba dive,boogyboard, ride bikes, play drums/guitar/bass, wakeboard. I stay at the beach all day and in the water. I have only had 2 pods fall off, but that is going 25 mph. and wakeboarding with the pod exposed. I have only had 1 pod failure, but that was no big deal. I have found it to be a blessing and would not like to go to shots again, but I do need to take it off when scuba diving. I love it.
Wow, good for you Daniel!
I just had my omnipod fall off after just 24 hours of use. Didn't knock it, wasn't sweating, showered in lukewarm water, and didn't use any lotions on my skin. At 33 dollars a pop and without insurance to cover the cost, I am in the process of using up my pods so that I can get a pump that's reliable, covered by insurance, won't fall off, won't malfunction and have a better customer support /customer rep network than omnipod. I would love to have someone such as yourself who obviously has had much better luck with this system to take this junk off my hands.
Let me know!
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