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EmpowHer's Health Tip: Insulin Pumps Linked to Deaths, Injuries Among Young People

Between 1996 and 2005, there were 13 deaths and more than 1,500 injuries reported among young people using insulin pumps to treat type 1 diabetes, says a U.S. Food and Drug Administration study. The pumps offer an alternative to multiple daily injections of insulin by syringe.

The researchers didn't advise against the use of the pumps, but called for more safety studies of the popular devices and urged parents to be vigilant in monitoring their children's use of the pumps, the Associated Press reported.

In some cases, the insulin pumps malfunctioned, and in other cases users were careless or took risks, according to the study of young people, aged 12 to 21. The findings are published in the May issue of the journal Pediatrics.

"Parental oversight and involvement are important. Certainly teenagers don't always consider the consequences," said lead author Dr. Judith Cope, the AP reported.

For example, some teens didn't know how to use the pumps correctly, while others didn't take care of the pumps or dropped them, the study found.