Coping with the needle - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Coping with the needle

Madison (WKOW) -- More than 23 million Americans live with diabetes and many give themselves daily insulin shots to treat and manage their disease.

  But some find the injections painful, so they skip their medication.

  In this Medical Minute, the new invention developed by a diabetic who wanted to help.

  Daily injections are a fact of life for millions of diabetics.

  K.K. Patton needs about eight injections a day to manage her type 1 diabetes.

  But like many, she's not a fan of needles.

  Patton said, "I got tired of the bruising, and I started doing the things you're not supposed to do like skipping breakfast, maybe skipping those correction dose that I needed to take after lunch."

  She knew poor compliance could mean serious health complications.

  So after discussions with doctors and inventors, she created a device called an I-Port.

  It's a simple medication delivery system that uses a needle to guide a soft, small tube under the skin.

  Patton added, "you remove the needle and there's a tiny little tube that stays below the skin and you use that to deliver your insulin. So every time you take an injection, it stays in the device on top of the skin and the insulin goes into the little canula below the skin."

  Doctors say the device takes the dread out of injections because the I-Port injection port is worn for up to 72 hours and can be used for as many as 75 injections.

  Doctor Thomas Blevins said, "I think if we can find a way to make it better or easier then we have a leg up and we can really help our patients. And many patients will tell you, they really like the I-Port for that reason."

  And it's a reason to thank this home-grown inventor.

  The I-Port can also be used for people who need daily blood thinners, fertility medication or growth hormones, but it has to be prescribed by a doctor.

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