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Health Report 2/03/13

Health Report 2/03/13: a new pump to help Type 1 Diabetics.
February 3rd, 2013

Type one diabetics need insulin every day to deal with their disease, but the life-saver comes with a potentially deadly side effect.
Now a new system aims to keep patients safe.

Heidi button, has type 1 diabetes, said: "I went on a pump when I was in seventh grade."

For 18 years, Heidi Button has needed insulin to lower her blood sugars and to stay alive.
But, like most Type 1 Diabetics, she fears her blood sugars could go too low.

Heidi: "It just takes one low blood sugar to kill you."

One in 20 Type 1 Diabetics will die of a low blood sugar. That's 411 people every day.

Ruth Weinstock, MD, PhD, Professor of Endocrinology, said: "They may be in a deep sleep and not know about it and therefore not respond."

That's where this technology comes in.

Dr Weinstock: "Up till now, the glucose sensing devices and the pumps haven't been connected in that they don't talk to each other and do something about that blood sugar."

Now, if a patient doesn't respond to a low blood sugar alarm, the VEO pump automatically shuts off insulin delivery for up to two hours.

Dr. Weinstock: "That should be long enough to allow the blood glucose levels to return to normal."

The device has helped Heidi when her alarm didn't wake her up.

Heidi: "And I slept right through it; I had no idea that my blood sugar was low."

Doctor Ruth Weinstock says the VEO could save lives.

Ruth Weinstock: "We hope that this would prevent those unnecessary deaths."
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