New treatment labeled "a game changer" for patients with diabetes

Published on: 11/03/2017

Nicklaus Children’s Palm Beach Gardens Outpatient Center kicked off National Diabetes Month by introducing a new treatment option for children with Type 1 diabetes. Colton Smith, age 16, is one of the first patients in the nation to use a new hybrid closed loop system to monitor his glucose levels.
Smith and his mother, Jean Smith, were joined on Wednesday, November 1 by LPGA golfer Michelle McGann, also a user of the new insulin pump, along with Barbara and Jack Nicklaus of the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation. The Smith family explained the freedom the Jupiter teen has experienced since receiving the new insulin pump six weeks ago. 

“Since receiving the new device, Colton has gained more confidence to go about his life and participate in sports and activities without worrying as much about the highs and lows,” says Jean Smith. “What used to be a constant battle for him is now much more manageable since his blood glucose level is much more steady. It has truly provided us peace of mind.” 

The Medtronic MiniMed 670G system, which was approved by the FDA in 2016, is sometimes called an “artificial pancreas.” The device consistently measures blood sugar, predicts when a rise or fall is going to occur, and adjusts itself to deliver precise doses of insulin, requiring minimal interaction from the patient.

Dr. Miladys Palau, a pediatric endocrinologist at Nicklaus Children’s Palm Beach Gardens Outpatient Center, is among the first in the nation trained to administer the MiniMed system. She currently has eight patients who are using the pump. “We strive to offer our patients advanced technology that not only provides more precise management of the condition, but also enhances the child’s overall quality of life,” said Dr. Palau. “This is a giant step forward in our mission to provide patients the best possible outcomes for lifelong condition management.”

“Dr. Palau is one of the many angel doctors we are blessed and proud to have throughout the Nicklaus Children’s Health System. The state-of-the-art insulin pump she introduced to us this week, and hearing the impact it has had in the lives of people such as Colton and Michelle, served to remind us of the incredible innovation that goes on daily at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital,” said Barbara Nicklaus, founder and chair of the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation. “The people and the work being done there allow us to better serve the children and families in our communities.”

Colton with Michelle McGann

Thanks to the generosity of Jack and Barbara Nicklaus, the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation, and the Michelle McGann Fund, the Outpatient Center is able to provide extensive education and diabetes management programs for children living with diabetes.

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