Insulin Pump Technology for Juvenile Diabetics Term Paper

Pages: 15 (4208 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 24  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice - Juvenile Delinquency

Insulin Pump Technology for Juvenile Diabetics

This is a paper about juvenile diabetics and insulin pumps. There are seventeen references used for this paper.

Juvenile diabetes is one of a number of diseases which affect children throughout the world that have no known cure. It is important to examine the disease and how it affects the human body, as well as possible future technology aimed at controlling the disease.

A method which needs to be explored is the insulin pump, and what innovations are currently being implemented in order to improve its effects. It is crucial to understand the history of the pump, how it works, and the results of improvements made to the pump over the years.

Juvenile Diabetes

Juvenile diabetes, also known as Type-1 diabetes, occurs when insulin can not be produced by the body, which is "necessary for the body to be able to use sugar. Sugar is the basic fuel for the cells in the body, and insulin takes the sugar from the blood into the cells (http://www.diabetes.org/type-1-diabetes.jsp)." Juvenile diabetes is a serious condition, however with proper insulin management, it is possible for patients to "live long, healthy, happy lives (http://www.diabetes.org/type-1-diabetes.jsp)." There are currently between "750,000 and 1 million Americans who are dependent on insulin, with 30,000 new cases diagnosed each year (http://www.hypertension-consult.com/Secure/textbookarticles/Primary_Care_Book/75.htm)."

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Complications From Diabetes

Juvenile diabetes can be attributed to a number of conditions in the body, including "hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, ketoacidosis and celiac disease. Some serious complications of juvenile diabetes are heart disease (cardiovascular disease, blindness (retinopathy), nerve damage (neuropathy), and kidney damage (nephropathy) (http://www.diabetes.org/type-1-diabetes.jsp)." Diabetes can reduce blood circulation to the foot, which can result in severe complications and in some cases, amputation.

Managing Diabetes

TOPIC: Term Paper on Insulin Pump Technology for Juvenile Diabetics Assignment

In order to reduce the conditions and complications of diabetes, it is important to closely monitor the body's blood glucose level. The patient should strive to maintain a safe glucose level which is close to that of a nondiabetic. An "A1C test provides a patient with information concerning his or her average blood glucose control for the previous 2 to 3 months, letting them know how well their diabetes treatment plan is working (http://www.diabetes.org/type-1-diabetes.jsp)."

There are a variety of products available to help monitor and regulate a person's glucose levels. Blood glucose meters and their supplies are an important parts of glucose monitoring. Tests are available which detect ketones, albumin, and glucose in the urine. Insulin can be administered with "syringes, insulin pens, jet injectors and insulin pumps.

Maintaining Glucose Levels person with juvenile diabetes "has very little or no endogenous insulin production, resulting in brittle glucose values ranging from very high values to hypoglycemia (http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/488996)." Diabetics need to strive to maintain a glucose level of "HbA1c less than 6.5%, a fasting glucose below 100 mg/dL, postprandial glucose below 140 mg/dL, and the avoidance of hypoglycemia (http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/488996)."

This is a complicated process which must be adjusted based on a person's glucose data. In order to maintain a correct glucose level, the person must monitor their blood glucose levels prior to meals, and receive daily injections or use an insulin pump. The "benefits of tight control, in terms of prevention of complications, are worth the effort, the risks and the expense. These intensive insulin regimens should be available to all juvenile diabetics and should be the standard of care (http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/488996)."

Initial Use of Insulin

In the 1920's, "Banting and Best revolutionized the treatment of diabetes with the extraction of insulin from animal pancreases. Supplemental insulin administration remains the treatment for insulin deficiency, which characterizes juvenile diabetes (http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/488996)."

Insulin Therapy

While insulin therapy is important to maintain glucose levels, there can be problems with the dosage and timing of administering insulin. Over the years, advances have been made in insulin therapy such as the creation of the synthetic insulins-lispro and aspart. These are "short-acting insulins which are quickly absorbed from subcutaneous tissue and disappear more quickly, making it possible to give a dose much closer to mealtime than regular insulin, and there is less risk of hypoglycemia at a later time. It is also easier to give larger doses than with regular insulin, creating higher peaks to deal with postmeal glucose levels with less risk of hypoglycemia (http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/488996)." Insulin pumps are able to use lispro and aspart insulins to efficiently maintain glucose levels.

Types of Devices

There are different types of devices which can be used to infuse insulin into the body. These devices, which are "classified as a closed or open loop system depending on whether they have a glucose sensor or not are:

Insulin pumps- open looped.

Computer-controlled insulin pump with sensor- closed looped.

Hydrogels implanted artificial drug delivery system providing chemical feedback between blood glucose and insulin release from a nonrefillable reservoir of limited capacity- closed looped.

Transplantation of insulin producing tissue (islets) and the bioartificial pancreas, employing the natural beta-cell both for glucose-sensing and insulin delivery (http://medind.nic.in/ibi/t02/i6/ibit02i6p379.pdf)."

Continuous Insulin Infusion

An insulin pump is used to administer "continuous subcutaneous infusion of insulin (CSII) in terms of permitting the programmed timing of insulin levels. These pumps permit preprogrammed delivery of basal insulin profiles as well as quick premeal infusion of bolus insulin doses (http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/488996)."

The insulin is pumped into the body via an "indwelling subcutaneous catheter, which must be changed every 48-72 hours. Implanted pumps deliver insulin directly into the peritoneal cavity and then to the portal venous system, thus allowing a first pass in the liver before the peripheral circulation, similar to that of normal physiological pancreatic insulin. These catheters have a tendency to clog over time, and the need to change the internal catheter surgically on an annual or more frequent schedule has constituted an impediment to distribution of the implanted pumps (http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/488996)."

Early Insulin Pumps

The hope of ending continuous subcutaneous injections resulted in the development of insulin pumps. The initial pumps provided the possibility of maintaining correct blood glucose levels in juvenile diabetics. When the pumps were introduced over 20 years ago, they were cumbersome and not well received. However, the "development of new, robust and easily programmable insulin pumps has led to readier acceptance of this therapy by physicians and patients (http://medind.nic.in/ibi/t02/i6/ibit02i6p379.pdf)."

The first insulin pump was "approximately the size of a microwave oven and performed exactly the same functions that the beta cells did in a non-diabetic pancreas. The Biostater measure blood glucose levels and dispensed insulin into the blood stream every five minutes and because of its size was used to treat diabetic ketoacidosis, as well as diabetes related research studies (http://www.nfb.org/vod/vsum0001.htm)."

The portable insulin pump was first considered when Yale researchers explored the possibility of an individual monitoring their own glucose levels and adjusting the pump as needed. The first portable pump was originally one used for chemotherapy, since the concept was "taken from the way cancer patients were given their medicines, weighed over a pound and used a large syringe placed on the outside of the pump. The early pump was about the size of an aerosol can, only wider and rectangular, had dials located on the outside and blinking red LED lights. The pump delivered diluted regular insulin at a constant rate and the user pumped in extra insulin based upon meal times and blood glucose levels (http://www.nfb.org/vod/vsum0001.htm)."

Since the pumps were based on those used in chemotherapy, the manufacturers of chemotherapy pumps made the first pumps specifically used for insulin. There were differences in the two pumps, as the ones for insulin were "smaller and lighter, with the syringe mechanisms hidden in a covered compartment. These pumps were much thinner and sturdier, which gave them distinct advantages over the converted chemotherapy pumps. The pump was more cosmetic for the user, and allowed the user to be more active, with less caution, to avoid damaging the pump during activities (http://www.nfb.org/vod/vsum0001.htm)."

There was a flaw in the initial pump, which was the "user still had to dilute U-100 insulin into concentrations like U-18 or U-36 with saline and eventually the same fluid that insulin is dissolved in. This was due to the fact that the pump design was based upon how chemotherapy drugs were delivered and not how hormones such as insulin were produced and used in the body (http://www.nfb.org/vod/vsum0001.htm)."

How an Insulin Pump Works

The insulin pump itself is "essentially a device that holds a syringe filled with insulin, and the delivery of the insulin is exquisitely controlled by a mechanism that pushes the plunger of a syringe down to infuse insulin into the subject via an infusion set. The infusion set is attached to a straight or bent needle or a Teflon catheter that has been designed for optimal function and comfort. This is inserted into the subcutaneous tissue, most often of the abdomen, but potentially of the upper legs or arms, or of the buttocks (http://medind.nic.in/ibi/t02/i6/ibit02i6p379.pdf)."

Advantages of Insulin Pumps

There are a number of advantages to using an insulin pump. These advantages "include:

More physiologic

Less variable insulin absorption

Better match between insulin and food

Greater lifestyle flexibility

Easier to travel - improved portability… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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