Parents who are concerned about the insulin pump’s relative complexity but relish the possibilities of the increased control it can offer children may finally have the solution to their problem. A recent study suggests that part-time pumping can offer improved control for younger children without requiring them to operate the pump on their own.
The study, which appeared in the May issue of Diabetes Care, found that putting 10 children, ages 10 and younger, on an insulin pump at night reduced average blood sugar levels, overall insulin dosage and incidence of hypoglycemia-all while allowing parents to keep a close eye on their children’s treatment.
For four weeks, the 10 children were given NPH injections during the day, then put on the pump from dinner until the following morning. The results were compared with results obtained by putting the same subjects on a regimen of three insulin shots a day.
The average blood glucose level for the children on multiple daily injections was 181, but it dropped to 160 when they began pump therapy. While it was about as effective at curbing hyperglycemia as injecting insulin, it reduced the incidence of hypoglycemia, bringing it down to 15 percent.
The part-time pump therapy also improved adherence to treatment, and decreased the subjects’ fear of hypoglycemia.