Little Miracle of Science
A woman who suffers from Type 1 diabetes has become the first in the world to give birth naturally after using an artificial pancreas during her pregnancy. 41 year old Catriona Finlayson-Wilkins from Norfolk had to wear a small portable piece of equipment, catchily named the Artificial Pancreas Device System (APDS), to prevent symptons of her disease from developing. The APDS is worn on the body and uses the latest digital technology to perform the role of a healthy pancreas. It has a continuous glucose monitor, a digital controller and an insulin pump which it uses to control the patient’s blood glucose levels and to administer insulin.
Diabetes during pregnancy can increase the risk of birth defects, over-sized babies and still births however it is difficult to treat. Pregnant women’s hormone levels constantly change, making blood sugar levels hard to predict. Ms Finlayson-Wilkins knows all too well the problems diabetes can cause. When her first son was born he had to be taken into intensive care due to high blood sugar levels. This time round the APDS seems to have made all the difference after her new baby boy Euan arrived safe and sound. As well as giving birth to a healthy boy, she can now claim to be the first to have used the fancy bit of kit outside of the research site in Cambridge. Record breaker.