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Diabetes Gibraltar donates Haemoglobin Analyser for children with Type 1 diabetes

Parents of children with Type 1 Diabetes, supported by Diabetes Gibraltar, have donated a Haemoglobin Analyser for St Bernard’s Hospital.

This machine can measure and report HbA1c (blood sugar) results using only a tiny finger prick blood sample.

This means that children no longer have to endure having bloods drawn from their veins, and do not require extra visits to the hospital and missing school for the purpose of drawing bloods, as the finger prick test and results can be done instantly when they visit their Consultant.

“Things have improved a little with the introduction of continuous glucose monitoring devices and insulin pumps but the one thing that had not improved locally for our Type 1 children was the three-monthly trauma of having to have bloods taken in hospital to test their average trimester control,” Diabetes Gibraltar said.

“This HbA1c test was very challenging for many children causing them much distress in their already difficult lives.”

The charity added: “Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune condition usually diagnosed in childhood (although it can be diagnosed later in life) where the body’s immune system sets off an attack on the insulin producing cells in the pancreas.”

“Insulin breaks down the sugars which build up in the blood so that it can pass through into our muscles as energy. With no insulin being produced, the body cannot break down the sugars and therefore it has to be introduced into the body artificially in order to survive.”

“Everyone who has to manage Type 1 Diabetes lives with a never-ending cycle of finger prick testing of bloods many times a day, multiple daily insulin injections, juggling insulin doses with food intake and exercise; a 24/7 routine of trying to keep their blood glucose as close to normal as possible against all the odds.”

This is how some of the children reacted when the Analyser was first used for their check-ups in June.

Georgia, aged nine, said: “I prefer the new machine because it hurts a lot less than having a blood test. It only needs you to do a finger prick which I’m used to doing lots of times every day. It also means I don’t have to wake up early on blood test day to put on magic cream”

Liam, aged 13, said: “In many ways this new machine will revolutionise any diabetic child’s check-ups at the hospital. I honestly didn't realise how simple it would be until the process was finished. I was utterly astonished and it was pain free. All the hard work we put in for the fundraising has finally paid off. Thank you to all the lovely people who helped us on this journey.”

Gabriella, aged 11, said: “I am so happy that I don’t have to get my blood taken any more. I was so scared of it. This is now like when I prick my finger to check my blood sugars.”

Diabetes Gibraltar and the Parents of Children with Type 1 thanked individuals, companies and associations who generously contributed to the purchase of the Analyser.

“You have made life so much better for our children,” Diabetes Gibraltar said.

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