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Continuous glucose monitor for diabetic patients
October 8, 2017, 5:14 pm

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first finger-stick-free blood sugar monitoring system for people with diabetes aged 18 and older.

The FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System developed by Abbott Diabetes Care, involves placing a small sensor wire placed on the skin’s surface that continuously monitors blood sugar (glucose) levels. People with diabetes can wave a mobile reader above the sensor wire to check their glucose levels. After a 12-hour start-up period, it can be worn for up to 10 days, the FDA said.

The system does not provide real-time alerts on its own and cannot warn patients about low blood glucose levels while they are sleeping, warned the FDA. Potential risks associated with the system include low or high blood sugar if data it provides is inaccurate and used to make treatment decisions, the FDA said. Some patients may also have mild skin irritation around the area where the sensor wire is inserted.

People with diabetes either do not make enough insulin (type 1 diabetes) or cannot use insulin properly (type 2 diabetes). When the body does not have enough insulin or cannot use it effectively, sugar builds up in the blood. High blood sugar levels can lead to heart disease; stroke; blindness; kidney failure; and amputation of toes, feet or leg, according to background information in the FDA news release.

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