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[IPk] Pump and sensor symposium

>PS Does anyone have any news about what happened at the pump and sensor
>seminar at the BDA's Brighton conference last week?

Yes, me.  Prof. Amiel chaired, and there were 3 speakers: Dr. Martin Press
(Royal Free, London)- gave an overview of subcutaneous insulin infusion, Dr.
Peter Hammond (Harrogate)- spoke about the benefits of CSII during pregnancy
and Dr. David Kerr (Bournemouth)- spoke about the continuous glucose sensor.

I'll try to give a quick summary, Dr. Press concentrated on the shortcomings
of current conventional therapies emphasising that limiting complications
was not a good enough target and that the aim of therapies should be to
achieve blood sugars as close to normal as possible.  He specifically gave
particular problems with certain insulins (I have some journal references if
anyone is interested).  He also said something that highlights the root of
some of these problems, that high insulin levels control peripheral glucose
uptake but low insulin levels control hepatic release of glucose i.e. there
is more to taking insulin than dealing with the food we eat and many of the
conventional regimens don't cover these requirements.  Oh and apparently
insulin pump therapy costs as much as smoking to the average smoker.

Dr. Hammond gave some statistics which did not make a strong argument for
pump therapy as the numbers of recorded cases were simply too few.  But the
convincing evidence was the account of one of his patients who had been put
on a pump for her second pregnancy and the difference to her whole
experience of pregnancy was from one of stress, anxiety and trauma to one
where she was able to enjoy the experience and bond properly with her baby.
At the end of the day this is what people need to recognise, a diabetic is
not just a list of numbers we are human beings with feelings, anxieties,
hormones and lives to live.

Dr. Kerr was very funny and enthusiastic and highlighted the point that this
new technology might start to make some healthcare professionals a little
uncomfortable because it reveals EVERYTHING and patients are going to want

In the discussion the point was brought out that in many cases the intensive
education element of pump therapy is as important to improved control as the
pump itself and the Dusselldorf program  was mentioned in reference to this.

Very interesting meeting and apparently there were sceptics among some of
the clinicians in the audience so hopefully it struck a chord with them.
The champagne reception afterwards was well received too- thanks AMT/

Did I miss anything?


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