Insulin Pump Also Monitors Blood Sugar

Alerts user when glucose drops too low

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THURSDAY, April 13, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Medtronic's MiniMed Paradigm insulin pump and glucose monitoring system, the first device to both deliver insulin and monitor a user's blood sugar in real time, the company said Thursday.

The device takes blood sugar (glucose) readings every five minutes, displaying up to 288 readings per day, Medtronic said in a statement. It allows users, once sugar levels are confirmed by a standard fingerstick blood test, to take immediate action to improve glucose control.

The glucose sensor is a small electrode that's inserted under the skin. Typically replaced after three days of use, it measures glucose in the fluid contained between the body's cells, Medtronic said.

The insulin pump is a pager-sized device capable of delivering insulin around the clock, much like the human pancreas.

The American Diabetes Association says the disease, affecting nearly 21 million Americans, occurs when the body does not produce or properly use the hormone insulin. Insulin convert sugars, starches and other foods into energy for cells.

More information

Visit the American Diabetes Association to learn more.

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