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From Farmingdale, Maine, USA:

I have a four year old daughter who has had diabetes for about six months. She never went into the honeymoon stage, and she is a unpredictable eater. Her sugar levels are never in the target range and is always getting a different dose of insulin. I read about a new diabetes patch that will measure the blood-sugar without having to do the fingersticks. This patch should be getting the FDA approval sometime this year. Is this patch going to be for children instead of adults? We need some of these things to be approved for children before adults.


I think that you must be referring to the GlucoWatch. This is a device that measures blood sugars using a special patch that is placed on the skin underneath the instrument. It measures blood glucose every 20 minutes for 12 hours and retains the figures in memory. The disadvantage for a four year old is that the present model is rather cumbersome, about the size of two of those large men's wristwatches. Possibly, it could be worn at night on the leg when the alarm for hypoglycemia might be of use. The company is developing a smaller version, but this is going to be some years in the future.

The problem of more testing in children is the inordinate expense in relation to the market. This happened with Humalog which, until recently, was officially approved only for people over 18 years. What happened, after its intitial release, was that physicians started to use it because of its obvious usefulness and this led to many reports in peer reviewed medical journals which ultimately established approval at little cost to the manufacturers.

In the meantime, if trying to achieve good control in your daughter is involving many blood sugar assays and a lot of fuss over finger sticks, you might like to think about the FreeStyle testing device ( which uses the forearm and is essentially painless.


Original posting 30 Jul 2000
Posted to Blood Tests and Insulin Injections


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