Melbourne | A four-year-old boy in Australia has become the first person in the world to be fitted with an artificial pancreas in a ground-breaking technology to treat his Type 1 diabetes. Doctors at Princess Margaret Hospital for Children (PMH) developed an insulin pump which acts like an artificial pancreas to treat Xavier Hames’ Type 1 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 The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), a non-profit organisation. The technology mimics the biological function of the pancreas to predict low glucose levels and stop insulin delivery, Western Australia’s health department said in a statement.
This in turn avoids the serious consequences of low glucose such as coma, seizure and potential death, it said. 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, the department said.
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 said artificial pancreas systems can 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.