Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Insulin swings during air travel

August 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

A study in the journal Diabetes Care suggests that changes in cabin pressure during flights may cause insulin pumps to deliver too much or too little of the medication.

In the study, Bruce King of John Hunter Children’s Hospital in Newcastle, Australia, and colleagues found that during take-off , when air pressure was decreasing, insulin pumps delivered about 1-to-1.4 extra units of insulin on average. And during descent, when pressure was increasing, some insulin was sucked back into the pumps, causing them to give out too little insulin, by less than 1 unit.

They recommend Type 1 diabetics disconnect their pumps before take-off and after landing and make sure there are no air bubbles in the insulin before reconnecting it. To prevent any danger to flyers, the researchers set out a list of recommendations, including a suggestion that insulin cartridges should only contain 1.5 ml of insulin.
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But in an exclusive interview with BioTuesdays.com, a spokesman for pump maker D. Medical Industries (NASDAQ, TASE:DMED) of Israel said that unique features built into both its Zone and Hybrid insulin pump products take care of this potential issue.

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