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Breath test for diabetes trialled

7th November 2011

A new trial will go ahead next year in which children in Oxfordshire with diabetes will have their blood sugar levels recorded using a breath test.

diabetes1

The children, who all have type 1 diabetes, will be the first in England to have their blood sugar levels measured using a desktop device.

The company which makes it, Oxford Diagnostics, are partnering with Oxford's children's hospital for the trials.

The device checks for levels of acetone on a person's breath and measures it to minute amounts.

The measurements are then used to make an estimation of how much insulin is required.

Julia Edge, a paediatric consultant, said they were looking forward to the trail beginning in the spring of 2012.

The children taking part in the trial will still have to perform pinprick blood sugar tests, as the results will be compared with the measurements taken from the new breath-testing device.

Children with the condition usually have to take around four pinprick tests a day and young children sometimes have to have 10 tests daily.

Dr Edge said: "A hand-held meter that would just say what your [blood sugar] level is would be really helpful."

Diana Davies, from Oxford Medical Diagnostics, said: "It's well known by doctors that the sweet, fruity odour of acetone in your breath is an indicator for diabetes.

"We can extrapolate that to develop a device that is capable of measuring the blood glucose levels." 

 

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