Diabetic Australian Boy Undergoes Procedure to Receive Artificial Pancreas
A diabetic Australian boy recently underwent a procedure to be fitted with an artificial pancreas. The artificial pancreas is a kind of insulin pump that can track glucose levels in order to prevent low blood sugar levels. The boy, at just four years of age, was the first patient that to receive an artificial pancreas outside of a clinical trial.
The artificial pancreas works by acting in a similar manner to a real pancreas in order to detect when there are low levels of glucose in the blood. The pump then shuts off the supply of insulin 30 minutes before a hypoglycemic event is likely to occur. The device had first been tested during clinical trials at Princess Margaret Hospital for Children. The artificial pancreas is designed to help patients that have Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is most common in children. The boy had been diagnosed with diabetes when he was only 22 months old.
In the United States, the FDA issued guidelines on how to get approved to be fitted with an artificial pancreas back in 2012. These guidelines also covered information regarding testing the software of the device, the clinical study requirements and testing of the user interface.
According to Tim Jones, a professor at Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, the majority of hypoglycemic events occur during the nighttime while a person is sleeping. The device can prevent such events from occurring when the patient might be unaware by stopping insulin delivery.