First European event on silent occlusions takes place

By Editor
30th October 2015
Hypoglycaemia, Insulin pumps Latest news

The first symposium in Europe to focus on silent occlusions and infusion set failures has taken place.

The Optimising Insulin Pump Therapy event was held ahead of the 51st European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Annual Meeting on September, 14, 2015 in Stockholm.

It was led by six leading endocrinologists and diabetes specialists from Europe and the US.

The speakers expressed their concern about the lack of research on infusion sets and shared their knowledge of the problems that some people experience, including pain, lipohypertrophy, kinking, scarring and instances of unexplained hyperglycaemia.

However they also acknowledged the importance of reliable infusion sets from a patient perspective, in terms of both insulin absorption and pump satisfaction.

Flow interruption

The symposium addressed the problem of silent occlusions, the term for insulin flow interruptions, defined in research studies as a continuous rise in inline pressure lasting at least 30 minutes which can lead to unexplained hyperglycaemia in some people with diabetes.

Approximately two thirds of current insulin pump users have been shown to experience periods of unexplained hyperglycaemia, thought to be due to insulin flow interruptions that often go undetected by the pump occlusion alarm system.

Because people with type 1 diabetes do not make insulin, an interruption in flow from a pump may lead to a lack of insulin in the patient that can cause blood glucose levels to rise quickly.

New developments in infusion set technology include the dual-port catheter. With two routes for the insulin to flow through, the chance of a blockage and consequent flow interruption (and potential silent occlusion) is significantly reduced.

This technology may also offer advantages in absorption, although further studies are required to confirm this.

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