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Medtronic Minilink CGM Troubleshooting guide

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#1
Giliv

Giliv

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I’m using the Medtronic Minilink CGM for more than a year and it turns out to be a very tricky and “peculiar” device. Also, the troubleshooting guide provided by Medtronic is rather incomplete and misleading in some cases (possibly they do not want to stress the potential customers). So, based on my experience I built a guide of my own:
1) Find an insertion spot for the sensor that fits to you. Try different places as it turns out to vary depending on the body type. My best spot is in the upper front thigh, with the insertion needle facing my torso and the transmitter my feet.
2) Clean the area thoroughly, your hands and everything else that you touch. Use alcohol based, non sticky cleansers. It is very important for extending the life span of the sensor and for your safety.
3) Men should shave the place as it turns out that any body hair prevents the adhesive tape to stick firmly.
4) Make sure that the transmitter is fully charged. Be careful, the procedure could be very tricky: For some reason, the charge-discharge cycle of the device can be deregulated. Although the green light of the charger goes off, the device may be very low in battery. If the transmitter doesn’t blink when you disconnect it, put it back on the charger, wait to stop blinking, disconnect it on and on again until the transmitter blinks (If the device is on warranty, demand replacement ASAP). Sometimes an early disconnection (while the charger blinks) may fix the transmitter – try it. Then, put it aside for at least 3 minutes.
5) Insert the sensor as explained on Medtronic user guide (also tutorial videos are available at Medtronic). Wait until any bleeding stops.
6) Secure the sensor with extra strips of tape. This is NOT optional. Place one at the top side of the sensor and one at the bottom vertically, in a criss-cross pattern and make sure you do not cover the connector.
7) Wait for 30 minutes.
8) Connect the transmitter and make sure it secures all the way in. If the green light doesn’t blink within 20-30” then disconnect and charge again (read step 4). If you repeat the above process several times and nothing happens, don’t worry. Most possibly, the sensor is not ready yet: Put the transmitter back on sensor and forget it for 8-10 hours. Then, charge it again and put it back on. 99% of the times it works!
9) When eventually the transmitter blinks, meaning that everything is OK, then connect it to the pump. Cover the whole spot with transparent film to prevent infections and water (though at hot summer days, expect it to come off)
10) Make sure that you perform the calibrations 2-3 times per day, before meals, while your blood glucose is stable and relatively normal.
11) Try to keep your glucose low. This is good for your health and also extends the life span of the sensor up to 7 days in total.

If you stick to the above guide, the device works in a fair manner, giving you a good control over your daily glucose levels.
Please note that the above guide is based on my own experience with the device. You should check first with Medtronic for your problems!

#2
poodlebone

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1) Find an insertion spot for the sensor that fits to you. Try different places as it turns out to vary depending on the body type. My best spot is in the upper front thigh, with the insertion needle facing my torso and the transmitter my feet.


I also use my upper front thighs (slightly out to the sides as well) but my transmitter is always on top, sensor pointing to my feet.

5) Insert the sensor as explained on Medtronic user guide (also tutorial videos are available at Medtronic). Wait until any bleeding stops.


It's been a long time since I looked at any official Minimed guide, but I think they recommend inserting at a 45 degree angle. Most of us who have used it for a few years find that going in deeper, more like 60 degrees, is better. It all depends on how much extra padding you have at the insertion site.

6) Secure the sensor with extra strips of tape. This is NOT optional. Place one at the top side of the sensor and one at the bottom vertically, in a criss-cross pattern and make sure you do not cover the connector.


I put a piece of tape straight across the plastic base of the sensor before I attach the transmitter. I use Hypafix, so I put a strip of Hypafix over the sensor and then cover the entire thing with a 4" x 4" square of Hypafix. My sensors stay very stable this way.

7) Wait for 30 minutes.
8) Connect the transmitter and make sure it secures all the way in. If the green light doesn’t blink within 20-30” then disconnect and charge again (read step 4). If you repeat the above process several times and nothing happens, don’t worry. Most possibly, the sensor is not ready yet: Put the transmitter back on sensor and forget it for 8-10 hours. Then, charge it again and put it back on. 99% of the times it works!
9) When eventually the transmitter blinks, meaning that everything is OK, then connect it to the pump. Cover the whole spot with transparent film to prevent infections and water (though at hot summer days, expect it to come off)


Since I never start a sensor 2 hours after inserting it, I just insert the sensor, immediately attach the transmitter and tape it all down. I do not turn the sensor function on in my pump. 6-8 hours later I turn it on and within a couple of minutes at most it will ask for a calibration. I tend to insert a new sensor at night before bed and then start it in the morning, or I insert in the morning and start it up before dinner. If I try to do a first calibration sooner than 6 hours the results are almost worthless. They go all over the place. They will settle down eventually but I find it better to just let the sensor sit and get wet for a good long time.

11) Try to keep your glucose low. This is good for your health and also extends the life span of the sensor up to 7 days in total.

I don't know if keeping your BG low actually extends the life of the sensor. What's the reasoning behind your statement? Also, I'm disappointed if a sensor only lasts 7 days. I average 12-14 days but have had many that lasted much, much longer. I recently had one that worked for 44 days before it died suddenly. Before that my record was 34 days. That is unusual, but I have had plenty of sensors that worked accurately for 3 weeks.

Everyone has to do what works for them. Some people worry about infections or the site becomes uncomfortable but I haven't had anything bad happen to me in the 3 1/2 years I've been using it.
--
Liz
Type 1 dx 4/1987
Minimed Paradigm 723 Revel + CGMS
13mm Silhouettes + Sure-T infusion sets
Lifescan Ultra meters
Last A1c: 7/10: 5.4





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