Health News

Insulin Pump

High Tech Devices Offer Diabetics New Freedom-VOA

By Rosanne Skirble
28 April 2006

This month the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved medical devices that continuously monitor glucose levels in the blood. Cynthia Rice, with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, says the technology is a giant step forward for diabetes patients who test their blood, often several times a day.

"These new devices will enable people to know whether their glucose levels are going up or down so they can prevent highs or lows, so they can take action," she says. "They can take more insulin. They can eat more food to stay in the normal range, and this will help reduce complications."

Those complications - kidney failure, strokes, cardiac arrest and blindness - are brought on by insulin deficiency. The body normally produces insulin to convert dietary sugar into energy. Rice says the new easy-to-use devices (Abbott Freestyle Navigator, Medtronic Minimed Guardian RT, and DexComm STS) give patients greater flexibility to manage their condition. "People simply have to place a sensor on their abdomen and then the information gets transmitted to a hand held receiver that gives them the information."

The monitors are not yet as accurate as blood tests and patients are advised to draw blood and compare the results. Rice expects accuracy will improve with subsequent versions of the products. She says the major obstacle right now is the cost, which the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and other advocates would like covered by insurance companies.

Diabetes afflicts approximately 35 million people worldwide.

Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome

(San Andreas, Ca.) Does this sound familiar – My baby has been crying for hours and I'm at my wits end. Nothing I do seems to make a difference. I've tried everything I can think of and I can feel the frustration building. I've been up for hours and I am ready to snap - I just want to grab him and give him a good shake. When is it going to stop? I just can't take this any more....

If this in fact does sound familiar, know that you are not the first person to experience these thoughts and feelings. Now is the time to take a break. Call a friend or a neighbor and have them come over for a short while to give you a breather.
No baby or parent is perfect and you haven't done anything to cause this crying. In fact it is so common that there is a name for this crying - it's called " The Period of PURPLE crying"

PURPLE crying.

P = Peak Pattern

U = Unpredictable

R = Resistant to soothing

P = Pain like face

L = Long bouts

E = Evening Cry
It is vitally important to understand the dangers of shaking a baby because this is one of the most common causes of brain and head injuries in infants.
Shaken Baby Syndrome is a form of child abuse in which the perpetrator, usually a parent or adult caretaker, shakes a child so violently that the brain sustains major injury. Shaken Baby Syndrome is most commonly seen in babies 3-8 months but has been witnessed in children as old as 4 years.
When someone forcefully shakes a baby, the child's head rotates about uncontrollably because infants' neck muscles aren't well developed and provide little support for their heads. The violent movement throws the infant's brain back and forth within the skull, rupturing blood vessels and nerves throughout the brain and tearing the brain tissue. The brain strikes the inside of the skull, causing bruising and bleeding to the brain. After the shaking, swelling in the brain can cause enormous pressure within the skull, compressing blood vessels and increasing the overall injury.
Children who survive Shaken Baby Syndrome may have:
• partial or total blindness
• hearing loss
• seizures
• developmental delays
• impaired intellect
• speech and learning difficulties
• problems with memory and attention
• severe mental retardation
• paralysis
Many times infants are never brought to medical attention if they don't exhibit such severe symptoms.
Even in milder cases, those in which babies look normal immediately after the shaking, the babies may eventually develop one or more of these problems.
In less severe cases, a baby who has been shaken may experience:
• lethargy
• irritability
• vomiting
• poor sucking or swallowing
• decreased appetite
• lack of smiling or vocalizing
• seizures
• difficulty breathing
• altered consciousness
• unequal pupil size
• an inability to lift the head
• an inability to focus the eyes or track movement

Shaken baby Syndrome is100% preventable. The Prevent Child Abuse Calaveras Council is trying to increase awareness of the potential dangers of shaking. One important prevention method is to help new parents identify and prevent shaking injuries and understand how to respond when infants cry.
If a baby in your care won't stop crying, you can try the following:
• Make sure the baby's basic needs are met (for example, he or she isn't hungry and doesn't need to be changed).
• Check for signs of illness, like fever or swollen gums.
• Rock or walk with the baby.
• Sing or talk to the baby.
• Offer the baby a pacifier or a noisy toy.
• Take the baby for a ride in a stroller or strapped into a child safety seat in the car.
• Hold the baby close against your body and breathe calmly and slowly.
• Call a friend or relative for support or to take care of the baby while you take a break.
• If nothing else works, put the baby on his or her back in the crib, close the door, and check on the baby in 10 minutes.
• Call your child's doctor if nothing seems to be helping your infant in case there is a medical reason for the fussiness.
To prevent potential Shaken Baby Syndrome, parents and caregivers of infants need help with responding to their own stress.
It is important to talk to anyone caring for your baby about the dangers of shaking and how it can be prevented. The Prevent Child Abuse Council of Calaveras County can provide you with that information.
If you or someone you know needs help or would like more information on ways to prevent child abuse in Calaveras County, contact the Prevent Child Abuse Calaveras Council at (209) 754-6110 or write to Tammy Beilstein, P.O. Box 872, San Andreas, Ca. 95249 or email You may also visit our web site at