Diabetic WA boy gets first insulin pump

AAP
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Diabetic WA boy gets first insulin pump

A four-year-old Perth boy is the first person in the world to be fitted with an artificial pancreas.

A four-year-old Perth boy is the first person in the world to be fitted with an artificial pancreas to help manage his type 1 diabetes.

Xavier Hames is one of more than 122,300 Australians living with the autoimmune disease that destroys the ability to produce insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar levels.

His new insulin pump system, which was developed through nationwide clinical trials, mimics the pancreas's ability to predict low glucose levels and stop insulin delivery.

The pump helps prevent hypoglycaemia attacks, which often occur at night when a person is asleep and can result in a coma, seizures and even death.

Princess Margaret Hospital professor Tim Jones said the pump was a breakthrough.

"This device can predict hypoglycaemia before it happens and stop insulin delivery before a predicted event," he said.

Xavier's mother, Naomi, said the pump reassured her he was safe when when the family was asleep.

Later on Wednesday, NSW resident Jane Reid will be the first adult and the second person in the world to be fitted with the pump.

On average, an Australian is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes every four hours.

Type 1 diabetes requires a daily regime of injections or continuous infusion of insulin through a pump, as well as six to eight finger-prick blood tests.