Dexcom Wire Mystery

Hola, just thought I’d share an experience I had a while back. I had a Dexcom that when I hit the button to insert the sensor, the device got stuck and I had the sensor on me, device stuck to sensor, etc. I felt the needle go in, and there was blood at the site. I ripped off the sensor, and got it apart from the device, and there was no wire. Took the device apart trying to find the wire, as I was worried it shot into my body. Never found it. Called the line and they didn’t seem concerned, but offered me a new sensor. I decided to call the nurse hotline and was told to go to the ER. Seemed like a bit much, but I did. They did an ultra sound and an Xray but no wire to be found. Apparently, the material of the wire is made so that the body doesn’t “reject it” like out of silver or something? I can’t remember the explanation I was given, but it was something like that, so it’s either in the needle (which I couldn’t see it in there, but couldn’t see in there much at all so can’t rule it out) or in my body, in which case who knows where but the ER doctor didn’t seem too concerned.

Weird experience, but now I always check for the wire after removing a sensor site.


IDK, but wouldn’t the wire be either in or around the needle? Isn’t the idea that the needle inserts the wire and then the needle withdraws and leaves the wire inside? I certainly don’t think the wire is shot into the body like a projectile but someone else may know the actual mechanism.
I’ve had a couple of sensors where the needle has failed to deploy properly and Dexcom sends me a kit to send the whole inserter back to them so that they can figure out what went wrong. I’ve never thought to look for the wire.

1 Like

Could be in the needle. I’m not sure it’s possible to see. I should look at one that I know deployed to see if they look different. I know the needle went into my body, and retracted, but not fully, so who knows for sure. I’m not worried, just found it interesting and thought I’d share.

1 Like

A couple of days ago I took apart a used applicator. I want to see if I could reset the mechanism, but no joy. However after reading your post I put it under my strong magnifier. I could see the needle end clearly with its beveled point like a hypodermic needle, but I could not tell how the sensor wire is carried and released. I did find this picture of an interesting applicator failure. You can see the sensor wire coming out of the needle.

As a child, I was forever in trouble for taking stuff apart to see how it worked. Eventually I learned how to put it back right, so no one knew. :smiling_imp:


That’s awesome! Ha ha Yeah it’s very clear there. The one I have is not part way out. I can’t tell if the wire is inside the needle or not. I tried pulling the needle out with plyers and mangled the end. Still no sign of the wire. But, it probably is in the needle and just never came out.


Yeah, I managed the needle with long nose pliers. I wish I could justify taking an unused applicator and sensor apart, but that would be really wasteful.


They (the applicators) are not hard to take apart. I do this to dispose of them; most of them are bits of plastic and springs and wirlygigs. The needle is surrounded by a tube, my assumption (I’ve only taken apart ones that have been used successfully) is that the sensor is another tube lower down; the needle carries both tubes into our bodies then withdraws, leaving the sensor tube intact.

The sensor may simply have not existed in your (@PP777) case; manufacturing defect, “Sorry guv, couldn’t find the wheel nuts so we left them off, wheel’s fine, pity about the rest of the Ferrari.”