Patients with Type1 Diabetes are experiencing greater independence and control over their condition with the use of a new ‘insulin pump’ which they are taught how to use by the George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust Diabetes Team.
Insulin pumps are portable devices attached to the body that deliver constant amounts of rapid or short acting insulin via a catheter placed under the skin.
Diabetes specialist nurses at the Trust are running the ‘Pump School’ course over 3 weeks to enable patients to familiarise themselves with this innovative pump and to gain confidence in using this device which is making a real difference to patients.
Insulin pumps can be an alternative to insulin injections for some people with Type 1 Diabetes. These patients are individually assessed for suitability.
Diabetes Consultant, Winston Crasto said: “These insulin pumps provide insulin 24 hours a day and are individually programmed for each patient. They are more intensive but provide a flexible way to deliver insulin to provide better control and an improved quality of life.
Health Care Support Worker and Diabetes Patient Joanne Jephcote said: “Insulin pumps are more discreet and I have better control of my diabetes which is invaluable as I work shifts within the hospital.”
Diabetes patient Sonia Deugo said “These act like an artificial pancreas and it feels more normal because I don’t like to inject. You have more control and you can adjust when required.”
The course has also provided patients with a chance to meet others with the same condition and some have developed ‘Pump buddies’ to share their knowledge and experience using the pumps.
Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 10 per cent of all adults with diabetes and is treated by daily insulin doses – taken either by injections or via an insulin pump. Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age but usually appears before the age of 40, and especially in childhood. It is the most common type of diabetes found in childhood.
Over 37 patients are now using the pumps and this number is expanding. There is a 24 hour support line for patients using the insulin pumps and users are reviewed one month after they first use the devices.
Anyone with Type 1 Diabetes and interested in Insulin Pumps should speak to their GP or diabetes consultant for more information.