Access to life-changing technology is now a step closer for Australians with type 1 diabetes. Four-year-old Xavier Hames (diagnosed at 22 months) has become the first child in the world to receive breakthrough insulin pump technology to help manage type 1 diabetes.
This new technology has been researched and tested through a series of clinical trials run by a team of specialists at Princess Margaret Hospital for Children (PMH) and a network of hospitals across Australia funded by JDRF and JDRF’s Government-funded Australian Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Research Network.
The pump system mimics a ‘normal’ pancreas and tracks low glucose levels and stops insulin delivery up to 30 minutes prior to a predicted hypoglycaemic event. This avoids the serious consequences of low glucose such as coma, seizure and potential death.
PMH Professor Tim Jones was one of the leading clinicians involved in the research and trials for the new device. “This is an instrumental development in the management of type 1 diabetes. This device can predict hypoglycaemia before it happens and stop insulin delivery before a predicted event. This coupled with the fact that the pump automatically resumes insulin when glucose levels recover is a real medical breakthrough.”
Xavier’s mother Naomi said that the pump system was a breakthrough. “Having the pump gives us the reassurance that Xavier is safe when we are all asleep at night, and during the day. We are so delighted to be part of this milestone event and to be receiving the very best treatment for our little boy,” she said.
Dr Dorota Pawlak, Director of the JDRF Australian Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Research Network, said “Artificial pancreas systems have the promise to transform the lives of people with type 1 diabetes by eliminating much of the burden of the daily management of the disease while improving glucose control. Such systems are a key component to achieving JDRF’s vision of creating a world without type 1 diabetes.”
This is a real achievement for the research funded by the Australian Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Research Network, and validation of the investment made by JDRF and the Australian Government.