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Diabetes breakthrough hailed as Australian boy given artificial pancreas

Doctors at Princess Margaret Hospital for Children (PMH, Australia) have developed an insulin pump which acts like an artificial pancreas and are using the ground-breaking technology to treat diabetes.

The new insulin pump system has been developed by specialist team at PMH as well as a network of hospitals across Australia funded by JDRF, the world’s leading not-for-profit supporter of type one diabetes research.

The technology mimics the biological function of the pancreas to predict low glucose levels and stop insulin delivery. This in turn avoids the serious consequences of low glucose such as coma, seizure and potential death.

Xavier Hames was diagnosed with diabetes when he was just 22 months old. He has been receiving regular treatment at PMH since his diagnosis and will be the first child, outside of the clinical trials, to use the new device.

Xavier’s mother Naomi said that the pump system was a breakthrough in Xavier’s care and for others suffering with the disease worldwide.

Dr Dorota Pawlak, the Director of the JDRF Australian Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Research Network says artificial pancreas systems can transform the lives of people with type one diabetes by eliminating much of the burden of the daily management of the disease while improving glucose control.