LEEDS Children’s Hospital is the first in the country to roll out an innovative new artificial pancreas set to revolutionise care for Type 1 Diabetes patients.
Laura Dunion, 17, of Oulton is one of the first three patients to get the new automated insulin delivery system, which she said has given her more freedom to live her life.
Laura was diagnosed with the chronic autoimmune condition aged eight and previously had to constantly monitor her blood sugar levels and inject or pump insulin up to six-times-a-day
Now she has an insulin pump attached to a tube in her stomach and a sensor placed on her skin, which has a bluetooth transmitter and automatically detects when insulin is needed and delivers it.
Laura can monitor her blood sugar levels at the touch of a button with the Medtronic Minimed 670G insulin system.
Laura, who is studying childcare at New College, Pontefract, said; “This is the best technology we have had since I have been diagnosed.
It has made me more independent and made me feel more normal.
“It means less blood sugar checks. I don’t have to spend so much time checking and worrying about it.
“I think this will make young people less stressed about their Type 1 Diabetes and focus more on what they are doing in life.”
Dr Fiona Campbell, consultant in children’s diabetes at Leeds Children’s Hospital, said trials have been carried out with other hospitals across the UK and worldwide since 2014.
Dr Campbell said: “For me it’s about helping young people to live a full and active life while minimising the burden of monitoring diabetes.
“In the future our ambition would be that all young people with Type 1 Diabetes should have access to this equipment if it is felt they would benefit.”
“We are trying to improve long-term outcomes and if we can stabilise glucose levels we have the opportunity to minimise the risk of developing the devastating complications of blindness, amputations, kidney failure and premature death from cardiovascular disease.
“If you can open up the access to this form of technology to manage Type 1 Diabetes in the future I think it will revolutionise the everyday care of Type 1 Diabetes.”
Laura’s mother Lynn Dunion, 46, said: “I can now sleep knowing she is safe overnight.”
“This is life-changing for me as a parent. It is a huge fear for parents that children will have a hypoglycemic episode during the night from low blood sugar levels.
“This system also administers additional insulin as needed to keep blood glucose levels within a normal range, preventing serious long term health complications.”