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[IP] Re: Latest Dexcom STS Sensor Life: 17 DAYS

Reply to both Sarah (Fri, 23 Jun 2006 16:57:30 -0400)
and 'Peter 1' (Sat, 24 Jun 2006 00:12:15 -0500)

Sarah said:
> Is that really safe? A very large part of the reason to change
> more frequently is to prevent infection. I can make my pump sites
> last over 10 days (I've tried it once or twice just to see),
> but I don't do it because it's not safe. Pumping is a little
> worse because of the constant infusion, but the sensor is still
> causing a deep wound/open access for infection.

And Peter said:
> What did that site look like after 17 days?

While the Transmitter is in place, the wound isn't really 'Open'... over
a few days, without provoking an immune system response, it actually
pretty much seals up. A pump infusion set isn't merely a little worse
than the non-reactive Dexcom... it's HUGELY worse.

I can't/won't push an infusion site past 3-1/2 days, because my body
DOES react to the carrier fluid, AND the infusion process, AND the
nylon infuser. People who use Stainless Steel know that the body reacts
to Stainless even faster than it does to nylon.

But when I pulled out my previous Dexcom Sensor (after 12 days), there
wasn't the SLIGHTEST HINT of any redness or reaction. If
there had been, I wouldn't have pushing this one for even longer.

This time, after 17 days, there was again absolutely ZERO sign of tissue
reaction around the tiny hole (just like the previous Sensor). Neat,
and totally unlike an infusion site after even just the first 24 hours
of use.

I disinfect my sites in a 3-step process: shave the body hair off, then
a couple wipes of Listerine, then a couple wipes of alcohol. I leave the
wipes to dry for about 20 seconds. (Time matters when you're disinfecting).

My Dexcom Sales Rep said something about the Sensors being "fully
oxygenated", which I take to mean that both the titanium and the
measurement chemicals are pre-rusted, therefore not prone to redox
reactions after insertion. He did say that this was different from MM,
but I have only his statement, nothing else to back this up.

With my sterile approach to putting it in, there's hardly any chance for
anything to get in there. (I similarly alcohol-wipe the
Transmitter when I "trick" it for another 3 days, and I leave the hand
washing soap on my hands for a really long time, like a surgeon).

So I feel good about this, even if the FDA feels chicken. They do have
to assume a very low level of pt. skill, not straight-A chem students
and MDs such as me and my wife.

If a site ever has the slightest hint of an itch, you bet I'll pull it
right away.
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