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June 3, 2000

Insulin Pumps

Question from Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA:

My 6 year old daughter has had diabetes since she was 3. Her blood sugars have always been very hard to control. The lowest her HA1c has been is 8.7. Would putting her on a insulin pump help to control her blood sugars?


There has been some recent research looking into whether insulin pumps represent a good option for children as young as 5 years. Most information is suggesting that children at this age do benefit from pump therapy — but much work still needs to be done before using pumps in this age group becomes widely accepted. At this point, it seems to be a matter of preference with most physicians who take care of children with diabetes — and putting a child as young as yours on an insulin pump will depend on how comfortable your physician is with using insulin pumps in that age group.

Additional comments from Dr. Bill Quick:

With the recent availability of the continuous glucose monitoring system (CGMS) from MiniMed, it is now possible to identify where the problems are that result in poor control. I would suggest that any patient who has difficulty with control get 3 days of data collection using the CGMS prior to launching into an entirely new program. (Note: the system still has limited availability, so most physicians do not yet have experience with using the device.)