OmniPod... need real life facts

So my 10-year-old who was diagnosed 6 months ago is looking at pumps. We are planning on doing a saline trial both with the Animas Ping and the OmniPod. She REALLY likes the OmniPod though and is leaning heavily that direction. I want to support whatever she is most comfortable with. Our endo office isn't extremely supportive of the OmniPod and I think they have a variety of issues with it, but I asked them directly to give me what they see as the downfalls and this is what the diabetes educator (who I really respect) had to say -- there are 2 issues as they see it.

(1) there is no ability to trend the numbers -- they only get 4 or 5 days of data to work with so you would have to commit to writing everything down to attain really good control.

(2) the OmniPod does not count insulin on board for meals/carbs eaten.

I contacted OmniPod to get their answers to these and they said the old PDM had issues with history, but the new one allows for storage of 90 days worth of numbers. They also said that it does count insulin on board for corrections, but not for carbs.

The advantages are fantastic for my daughter -- she loves that it is tubeless and she loves that the insertion is automated. I'm wondering if our office just hasn't had anyone recently get the OmniPod and so their experience is limited (they only have 4 kids TOTAL using it).

Anyway... I knew this would be the place to go to gather REAL LIFE experience -- from those who are or have pumped with it.. rather than the clinical experience of the endo office or the sales experience of the OmniPod folks.

Anyone have thoughts?


I LOVE my daughter's Omnipod. She loves it, and loves that it is "tubeless". It DOES count for insulin on board (IOB), and it does hold a ton of data up to 90 days, which you can download on your computer. Plus, I like that I can wait a few days to write stuff down to send to the endo if needed. Out of the 10 pumpers we know, 7 of them are on the omnipod, 1 isn't because she is allergic to the adhesive used to keep it on, and the other 2 are waiting for their insurance to allow them to go on it, as they already have other pumps, and they can only go to a new pump after so many years.


Out of the 2 months we have been on it, we have had only 1 pod failure. However, for some reason, the adhesive didn't want to stick last night, I think she got in the shower too soon after changing the pod, so we used paper medical tape to make sure it stays on for the 3 days.

The only downside to the pod is that if it fails, you lose the insulin (but there are ways around that, you can get the insulin out of the pod if it fails, and it is within the first day or so).  Also, it seems to suck thru batteries quick, so be prepared to stock up on the AAA batteries (they recommend energizer), but that is not a major thing, if you can find them on sale, and use the cupons they always seem to have by the displays.

Hannah goes Swimming almost every week, including tubing behind the boat during the summer, showers every day, and also plays basketball with the school team 3 days a week. Other than last night (again, I think it was because she got in the shower right after changing the pod, so it might not have had time to stick), we have not had any issues with water getting in the pod or the pod coming off, even when her little step-brother at her dad's used it once to pull himself up, the pod and adhesive came apart at the bottom, but the top was still connected, and the cannula was still inserted, but the medical tape took care of that easily enough. She stays in the water a LOT longer than the 30 minutes they say, and there have been no problems.

If you want to talk more, send me a message on here, and I will be happy to answer any questions I can.



Mom to Hannah dx 8/22/08, Omnipod pumper since 9/1/09

I have the OmniPod and I LOVE it.  It has made life so much easier and the best thing is there is no outside tubing, which made playing soccer and other sports and gym so much easier.  As far as the adhesive not sticking I have noticed if you wait a couple minutes after wiping the area with a alcohol wipe it sticks better but I haven't had any problems with the OmniPod and keeping my numbers in target while in my first year of college has been made easier because of it.  Good luck!!

My son is on the Pod and so far we have been very happy with it.  So far the only downside we have seen with it is that there have been a few pod failures but I think it has something to do with the fact that he is as skinny as a rail.  He is very active as well (swimming and soccer) and we have not had any problems with the pod coming off during either of those activities.  His biggest issue with the pod is taking it off because at first the adhesive was stuck a little too well.  With trial and error though we have found things that help get the pod off without any pain at all.

Our endo is very big on the Pod and our rep told us that this summer there were 25 kids from our endo's office that started on the Pod.  Now, that is not to say that we were pushed towards it.  We talked to our endo and they basically told us that for Clay's situation they would recommend either the Ping or the OmniPod.  After looking at both he decided he wanted to go with the Pod.  Insulet (the company that makes the OmniPod) has had excellent customer service so far.  Any time we have had a problem with a pod they have replaced it, free of charge, with no questions asked.  The other poster was right about the PDM sucking down the batteries though.  We have actually found that the batteries from IKEA work better than any others.  I have no idea why though.

If you have any other questions that we can help you with feel free to send us a message.

I agree that the pod failures are annoying, but I have found that if I am very conscientious when I fill the pod and make sure there are NO air bubbles in the insulin, I rarely have pod failures.  I'm an adult so I'm not as active as a kid, but I have gone jogging (as well as run to catch the train) without any problems.  If the adhesive seems to be loose, like others above, I just use some athletic or medical tape and it's fine.  The cannula has never fallen out.

The best part is that there is no tubing and it's fairly discreet.  I agree that it goes through a TON of batteries, but I am in the process of getting a couple sets of rechargable AAA batteries and a recharger, which I hope will solve that problem.

Good luck to you and your daughter!  I hope she finds a pump she really likes.  I was always afraid of pumps (mainly the tubing) and used injections for 9 years till this year when I switched to the Omnipod, and I am very happy I did. :-)

I have and Omnipod, I have used the new and old pdm, I think it would be best for your daughter, because its so much simpler, plus the new pdm allows you to record data and save it to your computer, also my doctor recommended me the omni pod she even said she would not be surprised if all pumps became tubless one day (: it has its flaws but so does every pump, I would totally recommend it.


good luck

Hi, would you mind going thru the process you use of prepping your daughter's skin & applying the Omnipod.  I am wondering if you may have any tips of the trade that I may not be thinking of.  My 5 and half year old started using the pod on Monday.  By Monday night the pod had detached itself from the gauze.  We applied another one, then had a pod failure on Tuesday morning.  We replaced this one, which lasted until Wednesday night when the top of the gauze starting coming out & the cannula filled with blood, prompting us to change it again.  We were also wrapping his arm & the pod with coban, which seemed to be helping.  However, when I removed the coban today in order to bathe him & change it, my husband & I noticed he had a contact rash.  Although I am not willing to give up on the pod just yet, I am beginning to get discouraged.  Also, when your daughter started wearing it did she have issues with higher than normal bg?  Any info you can provide would be greatly appreciated!

We just evaluated the pod for my daughter and for me it comes down to the age of the user.  My concern is for young children  the POD by itself cannot administer Insulin.  In the event you lose or forget the remote I felt the exposure was not worth it.  However, I do like the technology of the pod and feel it's a great product with wonderful potential.  We are new to diabetes and just feel more comfortable with a pump that can still dose insulin if you don't have the remote.  I may be paranoid but we are still freaked out...

The omnipod in the beginning was a real pain for me.  They have something called occlusions, which is when the pod detects that insulin is not flowing and send out a continuous, whining alert that an occlusion (blockage) has occured.  In the first few months, I was getting occlusions a lot.  Sometimes I would get 4 to 5 a day, which was insane.  They sent somebody to help me learn how to connect it and where, but I still had them after.  It was not until I went to a jdrf walk and had an occulsion that lead me over to the omnipod tent where they were giving demos that I had a breakthrough.  The lady there did not pinch up an inch, she grabbed a fist full and lifted it up and then connected the pump.  Since I have done this, it has been okay (no 6 occlusions a day anymore).  The other thing that has happened a few times is while loading the pump, it suddenly sends out an occlusion alert that you cannot turn off.  You end up having to pry the lid off and pull out its internal batteries to get it to stop.  Finally, on two occasions recently I remove the pump to replace it, and started bleeding continuously.  It was so much blood it filled my pocket and killed my cellphone that was in my pocket.  The bleeding did not stop for a few minutes.  This was quite scary.  Now, I do not know if that is omnipod only thing, but it was definitely not fun.  Keep in mind that every occlusion I get, you lose the insulin if you follow their recommendation of throwing the unit away.  You can, I found, use the syring you use to fill it to try and extract some of the insulin and put it back in the bottle or the new new unit.  The only issue with this is that the insulin drawn out has a lot of bubbles I noticed.  Still, if you click away at the syringe to pop the bubbles, you can get rid of them usually. 

Oh, I tried to dive with the pump, and both times I tried, it ended up ripping the pump off of me.  This really sucks.  I suspect this will be the case for most pumps that attach via the sticky tape type of material way.

The good side is that it is fairly small, and their support is excellent.  If you return the pumps that had occlusions or issues, they replace them.  They do have the ability to send somebody out in most areas to help you too.  If their next model would stay on better and have a detachable insulin holder so you do not lose insulin if you need to replace the pump, that would be great. 

P.S.  See cellnovo and solo pumps that are coming.

My son has had diabetes for 3 years now. So I am in the routine of never leaving the house without meter/insulin/syringes.  Having to carry the pdm is actually easier because it is only one pouch instead of two.  That is not a real concern for me.  Right now, it's keeping the thing on and making sure that he is getting his basal/boluses.

I definitely can understand being freaked out.  Although it is a manageable, non life threatening disease (if you take care of it) diabetes is definitely a life changing event.  Please know that eventually it will become a part of your routine, and you, your daughter, and your family will adjust.  Something that helped my husband & I to get organized was we made a binder.  In it there were sheets to record bg, calculate carbs of his meals, even where we rotating shots & which hand we were using that day for bg.  I am very anal about changing hands each day for finger pricks, which finger we used dependent on the meal, and which side of the finger we used.  I wanted to give each site for shot/bg as much of a rest between as possible.  Best of luck 

We will be shopping for a pump soon for our 9 year old that plays soccer and is on the swim team in summer too. In following this discussion I see terminology that I don't understand. Can someone explain what some of these things mean and how they apply to shopping for a pump?


1. What does insulin on board mean?

2. What does it mean when a pump does or doesn't "count insulin on board"

3. What is PDM?

4. What is a pod failure exactly? Does it have to be discarded?

5. Are tubeless pumps the way to go for a 9 year old?







Hey Terry -

I don't use an OmniPod, but since some of your questions pertain to any style of pump, I'll go ahead and try to tackle a few of them.

1. and 2.  Insulin On Board (also known as IOB) refers to the amount of active insulin in your body at any given time.  For example, Humalog tends to stay in your system about 3 hours, so the pump will keep track of about how much is still "at work".  This is helpful to know if you've tested a couple of hours after your meal and want to do a correction.  This information helps you avoid "stacking" your insulin (which will overdo it, and cause you to drop lower than you expect.)  If your pump doesn't calculate IOB for you, you'll have to keep track of it on your own.  (Much more convenient for the pump to do it for you.)

3.  The PDM on the Omnipod is the remote, basically, that you're using to tell the pod how much insulin to administer.

4.  Someone else can probably answer this one better than I.

5.  That decision is one that you have to make.  Everyone is different, and each pump will have different features (although they all can achieve the same end goal).  If you're unsure it will work for your particular situation, consider doing a saline trial.  This way, your child can wear the pump for 1-2 weeks to see if it is comfortable and will work, without relying on it for insulin.  During a saline trial, you continue to inject your insulin like you normally would.

Good luck!  Hope this helps you.


If you get occlusions or errors with the omnipod, you take it off and call omnipod and tell them about it.  They will usually mail you out a replacment and ask you to use their process to send back the failed pod.

Thanks a bunch. This is a big decision and not so easy. I heard about another tubless pump called the Solo. It looks nice too but is not for sale yet.


Insulin on board is how much insulin is left in your child's body from the last time you bolused (gave extra insulin to cover meals).  The pdm, personal diabetes manager (I believe) is the hand held computer (similar to a pda/cell phone) that controls the pod, and is also a meter.  It is very user friendly.  You take your child's bg, then follow the directions with button pushing to administer the bolus (insulin).  The pods are disposable, and you change them every 3 days (once you find what works for you & your child as far as making it stay on). 

As far as whether or not tubeless pumps are the way to go for a 9 year old is a very personal issue.  I can tell you that when we tried the infusion set only (tubing for the pump) my son absolutely hated it & would not even consider a pump.  He, however, is getting used to the omnipod & really liking that he does not have to have 5 shots a day, and is more free with what & when he eats.  I will tell you that this first week has been trying at times.  We have had two pumps detach & one pod failure.  However, each time we find a better way to get the pod to stay on, and this one has actually been on since Wednesday night.  I would research the different pumps and then make a decision.  Good luck!

Are Omnipod and Solo the only tubless pumps? I can't seem to find any others.


Omnipod is the only one I know that is actually on the market now.  Solo was purchased by another company and is slated for next year.  The cellnovo is going to be available in EU, and maybe in a year will be available in the USA.



hi i tried a pump and and liked it want to get one i think i like the omni pod  the best!!!!

hi i am looking at pumps i think i like the omni pod