No Pain Injections for Diabetics

November is American Diabetes Month, and more than 23 million Americans live with diabetes. Many give themselves daily insulin shots to treat and manage their disease; But some find the injections painful and skip their medication.  An invention developed by a diabetic who wanted to help change all that.

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.

"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," Patton said.  

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.

"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 cannula below the skin." Patton said.

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.

"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," Dr Thomas Blevins, diabetic specialist, said. 

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

"The i-port isn't just for diabetics. It can also be used for people who need daily blood thinners, fertility medication or growth hormones. The i-port must be prescribed by a doctor," Dr. Hensel said.

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