Festus teenager at the forefront of breakthrough in diabetes care
Audrey McKinney is at the forefront of a major development in technology for managing diabetes, one that many Type 1 diabetics have long waited for.
She’s the first pediatric patient in St. Louis to use what some consider an artificial pancreas made by Medtronic.
The device is able to automatically adjust the rate of insulin pumped into the body by responding to blood sugar levels measured by a separate sensor.
While insulin pumps are not new, the Medtronic MiniMed 670G is able to act on its own — to an extent — relieving some of the decision-making burden for diabetics.
“I think the pump is an amazing advancement in the technology. It’s helped me out so much and it makes me feel like I’ve never been sick,” McKinney, 17, of Festus, said.
Her health has improved as a result of the new technology, according to her pediatric endocrinologist, Dr. Susan Myers of Cardinal Glennon.
She now spends 72 percent of the time in a healthy blood sugar range. That’s an improvement from 50 percent of the time when she was using a pump without the advanced technology, Myers said.
The overall health of a diabetic patient is greatly improved when blood sugar levels are tightly controlled; when they’re not it can lead to long-term complications and stress on other organs.
Many patients were so eager for this type of technology that they began to hack their own insulin pumps to automate them in this way.
Some credit these do-it-yourself patients for helping push Medtronic and the FDA to speed up the process of getting the current device to market.
They were part of the #WeAreNo Continue reading