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[IPk] Studies Mixed on Safety of Insulin Pumps for Kids

Here's something that might interest you all.
I'm afraid I don't know where it came from.

Studies Mixed on Safety of Insulin Pumps for Kids
Two new studies provide conflicting information on the safety and effectiveness of insulin pumps for children with type 1 diabetes. 

An insulin pump is a pager-size device that is implanted in the abdomen of patients with type 1 diabetes and programmed to deliver 
set amounts of synthetic insulin into the blood, relieving patients of daily
insulin injections. 

The device is often recommended for adults, 
but some doctors worry that children may not be able to program the pump
correctly, which can lead to serious medical complications. 

But according to one study of 102 children younger than 12 
attending a pediatric diabetes program, the pump was more effective at
stabilizing blood sugar than insulin injections and did not cause any
significant adverse reactions. 

For instance, the risk of severe hypoglycemia, a condition that occurs when too much insulin causes blood sugar levels to fall dangerously low, was 0.2 events per patient per year with the pump. Similarly, infections at the site where the pump was implanted were minor and easily treated with antibiotics or warm soaks. 

The findings were presented here on Tuesday at the American Diabetes Association's annual meeting. 

In an interview with Reuters Health, lead author Jo Ann H. Ahern, coordinator of the pediatric diabetes program at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, said any child who wants to be on the pump is a candidate. 

Specifically, she would recommend the insulin pump for children who check their blood sugar at least four times a day, those who suffer from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) at night, and picky eaters. 

Children in Ahern's study began pump therapy between 1997 and 2000. School-age children had used the devices for nearly 20 months, on average, and pre-school kids had used them for an average of 17 months. 

A second study, however, cautions that children's risk of diabetic ketoacidosis may increase on the insulin pump. The condition is marked by acid build-up in the blood, and can occur if the insulin pump fails. 

In addition, patients can suffer from low blood sugar, extreme thirst and a number of other complications if the pump is set incorrectly, note Dr. Nicole Celona-Jacobs and colleagues from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. 

They reviewed data on 34 patients with an average age of 14 who received multiple daily insulin injections and insulin pump therapy, each for one year. 

The children experienced significantly more incidents of diabetic ketoacidosis and had slightly higher body mass indexes (BMI) while on the insulin pump, results show. 

The researchers conclude that patients who are not proficient at self-monitoring their diabetes, regardless of their age, should not be candidates for the pump. Children are more likely to have difficulty monitoring their disease. 
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