RUSSELL D. CURTIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RUSSELL D. CURTIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Insulin pump. Woman's hand adjusts a battery- powered insulin pump connected to her abdomen, which delivers a continuous supply of insulin hormone. The insulin is delivered through the thin tube to a needle below the skin. The portable pump can be programmed to vary the dose at different times of the day, such as before eating. Regular injections of insulin are needed in diabetes, where the hormone is too low in the patient's bloodstream. Without insulin the body fails to absorb glucose from the blood, which can lead to coma and death. With modern treatment and sensible self-monitoring, however, diabetics can lead a near normal life.
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