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Some Dexcom G4 and G5 CGM Receivers May Not Sound an Audible Alarm

How to test your receiver to make sure it is working properly.

In February, Dexcom mailed customers a very important safety notification: some G4 and G5 CGM receivers’ speakers may malfunction and not sound an audible alarm or alert. The core problem is a defect in the speaker part of some receivers. The FDA has now posted an accompanying class I recall notice to ensure users are aware of this safety issue. Needless to say, it is dangerous when patients rely on CGM receiver alarms and cannot hear them! If you are using a Dexcom CGM, you don’t need to panic – not every receiver is actually malfunctioning, so Dexcom advises the following:

  • Test the receiver’s audible alerts (see the instructions below or at the bottom of the page here)

  • If the alerts do not function properly, report the malfunction at (844-607-8398) or through Dexcom’s notification page to receive a new receiver for free.

  • If the alerts function properly, continue to use with periodic alert tests. There is no need to return receivers to Dexcom if they are functioning properly.

Here at diaTribe, we’ve been using the G5 phone app instead of the receiver, which offers louder audible alerts. Some patients also amplify the receiver’s vibration by placing it on a smartphone and using an “Earthquake app” or putting the receiver in a glass.

Dexcom has taken the precaution of recalling all G4 and G5 receiver models, even though this issue does not affect every receiver. Use the instructions below to see if your receiver is affected.

While this news is definitely a safety concern, it’s positive to see Dexcom’s swift response with February’s customer notification letter and this week’s formal press release. The G4 receiver has always had some durability issues (e.g., the micro-USB port can cave in, water damage), and hopefully the new touchscreen receiver (expected to launch later this year) will prevent issues in the future.

How to Test Your Receiver’s Alarms

  • Press the center button on your receiver to access the Main Menu

  • Scroll down to Profiles

  • Select Profiles

  • Scroll down to Try It

  • Select Try It

  • Scroll down to 55 Fixed Low

  • Select 55 Fixed Low

  • Verify that you receive vibrations first (vibratory portion of alarm), followed by beeps (audible portion of alarm).

-AB/AR

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