I’ve been having issues with bleeding recently when trying to insert a new sensor and I’m not sure why. I’ve been using Dexcom G6 since September when I was originally diagnosed and haven’t had this issue until February when I started using a tandem pump. I typically have my sensor and pump site on opposite sides of my stomach and then switch sides when it’s time to insert a new sensor. I haven’t been able to get a good insertion on the first try and usually go through 2-3 sensors before getting a good one. I’m not sure why this is happening now all of the sudden, but I’m thinking it has something to do with my pump because that’s the only thing that’s changed in my management since this started. I’ve also tried inserting on my upper arm, which gave me a lot of sensor errors and inaccurate readings, but I would be willing to try again. I’m 22 and am very skinny (120 lbs) so I’m not sure if that also has something to do with it. Any tips on how to prevent bleeding or on switching up insertion sites? Thanks in advance for the help.
A bleeding dex only happened to me 2 or 3 times… I’ve been using a pump for about 17 years and I have so much scar tissue on my stomach and back that my dex just won’t work there, it always fails. I put my dex on my upper/outer thigh and I’ve never had any problems. I’m pretty active with soccer and kickboxing and I don’t have any issues!
@smmeyers98 Hi Shaun, and Welcome to the JDRF TypeOneNation Forum!
There is bleeding, and then again, there is BLEEDING! A bit of blood, minor bleeding shouldn’t bother the sensor, but heavy or prolonged bleeding should be discussed with your doctor. I’ve been using Dexcom sensory in my belly for a few years, only an occasional minor bleed, and Tandem pump 13 mm cannulas for just over 2 years most inserted in my belly; for many years prior to Tandem, I inserted MiniMed cannulas in my abdomen. One device would NOT cause the other to bleed, but might have just the other effect - poor circulation.
Like you, I have both Dexcom and Tandem in my abdomen, switching sides. You should consider assuring that you do not use the same location too frequently. Thirty or forty years ago, I “mapped” my abdomen and gave each of the eight sections a unique; when I use an area, I write the area number and date on the map - that meant I didn’t place a pump cannula in the same area more once in 27 days, giving an area plenty of time to recover. I also have areas of my butt and arms mapped with letters - this scheme has helped me remain clear of scar tissue despite hundreds of thousand needle pokes during the past seven decades.
hey @smmeyers98 , welcome, I agree with the above and am envious of @Dennis mapping technique. all I want to add is that you hit the capillary lottery. bleeders happen randomly.
I’ve got a few bleeders with my sensors - not spots that bled a little and stopped, but ones that soaked through the tape😳 - I didn’t realize until I got error messages because I was putting on a shield and tape which hid it from view.
Anyway, the only place that happens for me is my upper abdomen - above my belly button. Apparently there’s more fat there and it tends to bleed. A lot. Although you switch sides, try to note (or map) the areas that cause you problems. Also check with your trainer or nurse educator about other sites. I believe only the abdomen had been approved by the FDA but that doesn’t mean your upper thigh, hip or some other area won’t give you good results.
Don’t forget to call Tandem for replacements.
@Kel15 @Dennis @joe @wadawabbit This was very helpful, thank you!
I’m really sorry about your bleeding issue. I’ve used a Medtronic guardian CGM for years and put it on the backside of my upper arm without any pain nor bleeding. I hope the method works for you.
Unfortunately, hitting the superficial venous system with a Dexcom sensor is a total crap shoot. For those of us who still use multiple injections (in lieu of pump) have the same opportunity to hit a vein when injecting insulin. This is evidenced by increased injection site pain and bruising.
I have found that mapping your own body to understand where you might likely hit a bleeder is important. I use both abdomen and back of my arm. Abdomen much easier for me to map. One side is always resting at least for the 10 days until the sensor expires. The other little trick I have found that appears to work well is immediately after inserting the sensor even before I attach the transmitter, I apply compression continuously for a few minutes. Since I’m doing that have not had a spontaneous bleed.
Ahh the little tricks we find😉