Thursday, 21 March 2019

Healthcast: New pump for kids with Type 1 Diabetes

MIAMI, Fla. – Type 1 Diabetes is a serious disease that needs to be monitored around the clock.

A new pump for people with type one diabetes has just been FDA approved for use in kids, starting at 7.  

Here’s how this new device is helping them stay healthy and active.

Like most teenagers, Colton Smith is extremely active. 

“I play outside linebacker,” Smith said.

So it was quite a shock when Smith was diagnosed with type one diabetes at the age of 14. 

“It was kind of out of the blue,” Smith said.

Dr. Miladys Palau Collazo, MD, from Nicklaus Children’s Hospital said the diagnosis changes families forever. 

“When you have type one diabetes, you actually have to think like you’re a pancreas,” Palau said.
The challenge is regulating blood sugar levels. Smith was getting up to eight shots of insulin a day. His mom was concerned about him playing football. 

“My worry was ‘Okay, he’s going to lay flat on the field and he’s going to be out,’ you know,” Smith’s mother Jean Smith said.

Palau said exercise can have an effect on blood sugar levels up to 12 hours later. That’s where the Minimed 670-G system by Medtronic comes in. The pump has a glucose sensor that measures blood sugars every five minutes.

“The pump has a computer algorithm that can calculate the rate of rises and drops in blood sugar and deliver the insulin,” Palau said.

So Smith can set it and forget it when he hits the field. 

“I just disconnect it from me and give it to my trainer to hold onto during the game, then when it’s over, I just reconnect and I’m good to go,” Smith said.

And because the system is able to adjust the amount of insulin the patient is getting, there’s no more worries overnight. 

“It will send an alert to the parents and let them know that the blood sugar is low and they need to come to fix the problem,” Palau said

Smith said the pump has been a game changer.

“I don’t find myself worrying about it, and I get to enjoy life a lot better,” Smith said.

Helping to make this disease more manageable for families.

Studies show patients using the 670-G pump spend up to 75 percent of their time in the target range for blood sugars. 

The pump is covered by most insurance companies. 


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