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Published on May 06, 2008 by Edgar Snyder

FDA Says Diabetes Insulin Pumps Dangerous for Teens

Insulin pump

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is urging parents to closely monitor teens' use of unsafe insulin pumps. A study published this month reveals that the dangerous medical devices, used to treat Type 1 diabetes, have been linked to injuries and deaths.

In a review conducted by the FDA, it was found that 13 deaths and more than 1,500 injuries were associated with the faulty insulin pumps. The adverse reactions were caused by medical device product malfunctions and also by the misuse of the medical devices. Additionally, there were two possible suicide attempts by teens who gave themselves overdoses of insulin.

Tens of thousands of teenagers in the United States use insulin pumps to treat Type 1 diabetes, an illness that causes the body to attack insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Insulin regulates blood sugar levels, and when those levels get too high, heart disease, blindness, and kidney damage can occur. Though recent research shows them to be potentially risky defective products, insulin pumps are growing in popularity because they allow teens to lead normal lives.

Source: "Parents Advised to Monitor Teen Use of Insulin Pumps." The Wall Street Journal. May 5, 2008.
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