HealthWatch: Diabetic Pump For Kids


Type one 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 age seven.  
Like most teenagers, Colton Smith is extremely active. 
Colton said, “I play outside linebacker.” 
So it was quite a shock when Colton was diagnosed with type one diabetes at the age of 14. 
“It was kind of out of the blue,” Colton shared.
Miladys Palau Collazo, MD, a pediatric endocrinologist at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital says the diagnosis changes families forever. 
“When you have type one diabetes you actually have to think like you’re a pancreas,” said Dr. Palau.
The challenge is regulating blood sugar levels. Colton was getting up to eight shots of insulin a day. His mom was concerned about him playing football. 
Jean Smith, Colton’s mom, said, “My worry was ok he’s going to lay flat on the field and he’s going to be out, you know.” 
Dr. Palau says 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,” said Dr. Palau.
So Colton can set it and forget it when he hits the field. 
Colton explained, “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.” 
And because the system is able to adjust the amount of insulin the patient is getting, there’s no more worries overnight. 
Dr. Palau stated, “It will send an alert to the parents and let them know that the blood sugar is low and they need to come fix the problem.” 
Colton says the pump has been a game changer! 
“I don’t find myself worrying about it and I get to enjoy life a lot better,” he 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. 
Contributors to this news report include: Janna Ross, Field Producer; Judy Reich, Videographer; Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Hayley Hudson, Assistant Producer; Dave Harrison, Editor.

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REPORT:    MB #4461

BACKGROUND: Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, is when the immune system attacks the pancreas, stopping the production of insulin and causing a person’s blood sugar levels to increase. Type 1 may be caused by the destruction of the pancreatic beta cells, which can be a result of viruses and infections, as well as other unknown factors. In many cases the cause is unknown. Scientists are looking for a cure, for instance by replacing the pancreas or some of its cells. Risk factors include introducing certain foods too soon or too late to babies, or a family history, and exposure to toxins. Symptoms and signs of type 1 diabetes include excess thirst, weight loss, frequent urination, skin infections, abdominal pain, and bladder or vaginal infections. It can be treated with lifestyle changes such as meal planning and taking insulin doses to match.

TYPE 1 IN CHILDREN: If you suspect your child may have type 1 diabetes, there are several tests doctors may order. These include fasting blood sugar tests, random blood sugar testing, as well as glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test. If diagnosed, you will need to schedule regular follow up appointments to check A1C levels. Doctors will periodically test your child’s cholesterol levels, thyroid function, and kidney function, as well as their blood pressure. Treatment is life-long and includes blood sugar monitoring, insulin therapy, healthy eating, and regular exercise. Managing type 1 diabetes can seem overwhelming, so take it day by day and don’t forget you’re not alone. You’ll work closely with your child’s diabetes treatment team to keep their levels as close to normal as possible.

NEW TECHNOLOGY: A new closed loop hybrid insulin pump system has recently been FDA approved for children as young as 7 years old with type 1 diabetes. The MiniMed 670G was designed for continuous delivery of insulin for the management of type 1 diabetes. The system monitors and trends the levels of glucose under the skin and can be programmed to automatically adjust delivery based on the sensor’s glucose values. Patients under the age of 14 that have been using the system have reported it working very well, and it is giving parents peace of mind throughout the night. This system responds if there is a risk of low blood sugar numbers.
(Sources:  & Miledys Paleu Collazo, MD)


Jennifer Caminas, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital PR

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