How long does your DexcomG6 last?

My daughter (8 years old) had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in January 2022. We decided to use Dexcom G6 (which we must buy ourselves) but we have a constant problem. The sensors never last for 10 days and if we get 6-7 days out of them, we consider ourselves lucky. We tried: (1) buying from different sellers and countries; (2) using a protective shell; (3) hydration to the max; (4) special overpatches to keep the sensor better in place. Doctors could not offer any additional advice (except that maybe it’s a phase and she will grow out of it). Her TIR is at 90% and glucose variability is low. Did this happen to any of you, especially if you have kids with type 1? Any experiences are really welcome. Thank you! Oana

1 Like

Hi @Oana and welcome to the forum. If you don’t mind my asking, what type of issues are you having? You referred to using different tapes as well as hydration so I wonder if it’s a problem with adhesion, accuracy or both? I discovered Dexcom shields, and Simpatches, and the combination works great to keep me from jarring my sensor if I walk too close to a wall or something. The shield covers the sensor and the patch covers the shield and sticks to the skin. If the patch does start to come off you can replace it with another one without disturbing the sensor.
My sensors nearly always last 10 days, but when they do not Dexcom replaces them. Call their tech support and let them know, and in addition to arranging a replacement they may be able to do some troubleshooting.
It’s been a while since I’ve had to get a replacement and don’t know if buying or of the country voids that - I don’t recall if they ask - but generally I think they ask for a lot number (if you can’t provide it, no problem) so they can track any issues and get some details.
Since you’re paying out of pocket I wanted to suggest a less costly alternative, Freestyle Libre. To be honest some people find it is not as accurate as Dexcom, but if it is I consider it a good alternative for people who aren’t using a closed loop system. Aside from that it has the same functions but It’s less costly. You might discuss it with your endo.

Thank you for the suggestions! We get this pattern: first we have Sensor Error (when this starts we usually know that the sensor will “die” soon), then after Sensor Error we start getting wrong readings that we cannot fix with calibrations. Last, we get false Urgent Lows accompanied by longer periods of Sensor Error. As I live in Romania, we have to buy the DexcomG6 from resellers, who are not so open to replacing the sensors. We also tried Libre 3 sensors, but one lasted 9 day and the other just 4 (in both cases we started getting very wrong readings).

It may still be worth calling Dexcom tech support to see if they have suggestions. They may also be able to check the lot numbers on the sensors to see if the ones you’re getting are still good.

I’d also suggest reviewing insertion technique and trying different insertion sites.

I’m sorry it’s so difficult. I had that quite often when I was using the Medtronic Guardian 3 sensors, and it’s a real pain. The alarms, the dangers of the pump reacting incorrectly, having to change the sensor more often… I’m sorry you’re going through all that, especially if you’re paying for them out of pocket. I hope you can find some way to improve the situation.

1 Like

You may have tried this already but you could try being sure to clean the area with an alcohol swab and letting it dry *before insertion, and then also try a different insertion spot (try stomach if you have had trouble with arms, etc) - the Dexcom site has a listing of “approved” sites- but this varies by country- I notice improves accuracy and length of session to full 10 days with arm use- but many get better accuracy with stomach and also less chance of bumping in to things with stomach site.

Yes, it sounds very familiar and very frustrating. Initially when we moved to G6 at the end of last year we found the sensors to have very short life spans, a day or so for the sensor to be accurately in range and failing at day eight, but we are getting closer to the 10 days now (most cycles). The hydration thing can be relevant especially as seasons change and children are then suddenly very thirsty.

My son is tall and lanky so we need to find sensor locations where there is enough body tissue to get good readings.

  • To hold and pinch up the skin between the thumb and middle finger when you insert the sensor in the first place to ensure the needle is going into an area with enough body tissue for readings. Not just place the insertion cartridge flat on the skin and push the button like in the training videos.

  • Try to insert the sensor needle (orange button) facing towards the belly button rather than away seems to work for us. Often if he places the sensor needle facing outwards it starts to fail early especially if he is very active or hunched over balancing the laptop or books on his stomach.

  • The constant requests for extra readings is frustrating and seems to go in circles. Sometimes just ignoring it for a while (and the glass of water) allows it to settle down and come back.

Hope you can get some answers as it is a great system when it works as it should.

1 Like

Thank you for all your suggestions. We will surely try the ones that we did not try before. Similar to Roxy, my daughter is also tall and slim. I am not sure if this is a factor (there’s little body fat). This is something we cannot change, as it is a constitutional thing (she eats well, is active, last month’s blood work was great). We can only use the arms for the sensors, as she totally refuses to use the abdomen.

She might try the upper thigh too. All the best to you!

Hi Dana, I just read that the Dexcom G7 is approved in the EU. It’s supposed to be a big improvement over the G6 (much smaller than the G6, all in once sensor & transmitter similar to Freestyle Libre design). Since you’re in Romania see if you can purchase the G7, which might work better than G6.

Apologies Oana, I misread your name as Dana on my phone.

Everyone is trying their best to give suggeations and help. If you need to call me and talk I would be happy to help. .My son is 15 qnd diagnosed at 11 . I am happy to help.

1 Like

Something I realized some time ago was that if I wasn’t careful not to have any metal items in my pockets or hanging from my belt close to the sensor it seemed to block the radio signal going from the sensor to my pump or any other receiver. I keep all metal items, such as coins or keys on the other. It’s also possible that the sensor signal is blocked by some of her body getting in between since radio signals don’t carry through the water in her body tissues, That is warned about in the instructions BTW.
When the readings are interrupted I also take the receiver and place it against the sensor and give it long enough there for the next reading or 2 to come through.
The other thing that works at times is to push the sensor into the base. I hook a fingernail in under the edge of the socket above the take then squeeze the sensor down into it to be sure the contacts touch, It’s possible that when she moves around the socket wide end gets moved down from the inserted sensor enough to loosen it enough to reduce the contact enough to disable it

I had the same problems. Frequent errors where you no longer get a reading and the sensor dying way before it’s time. Yes it is true Dexcom will replace them and are very nice about it, but what a pain.

I switched to the FreeStyle Libre 2. I have waaaaay less of these problems. Still have some but not near as many.

If you’re not on a closed loop, as I see it your options are to switch, or just live with it like everyone else on Dexcom.

1 Like

Hi, my daughter is 9 and we’ve had the same problem! We use the Dexcom Patient Assistance Program where we pay $45 for a 3 month supply, but they wont last 3 months. We had an issue with the sensor, a few times, and they even re used the same sensor code a few times in a box so we were unable to connect because it was the same sensor code we previously used. I know they have a tech support you can call and i think they will replace the sensor free of charge if its a malfunction thats their fault. I wish you the best!

I have had the same code for different sensors and had no problem reusing them - although I’ve never used the same one in a row. I was not aware you could not use the same sensor code sequentially.
That said, you could try re-using a code you used before and seeing if that works, since they’re not unique.