Page last updated at 05:48 GMT, Tuesday, 2 June 2009 06:48 UK

Help on way for chronic diabetics

Diabetic injecting insurlin
There are 1,600 diabetics in Belfast and many more across Northern Ireland

Diabetics in Northern Ireland with the more chronic form of the illness are to benefit from a new device available from Tuesday.

Patients will now have an insulin pump which can protect them against severe hypoglycaemia even when they sleep.

In Belfast alone there are about 1,600 people with type 1 diabetes and about 90 of these may be children.

The pump automatically shuts off the insulin supply if the patient's blood glucose levels drop too low.

It is claimed the pump can protect sufferers against hypoglycaemia, even when they are unable to act.

On average people with diabetes will have at least one hypoglycaemic attack every fortnight.

Approximately 120 Belfast patients (1 in 14) may experience one or more severe attacks which require urgent medical treatment.

Makers of the Paradigm Veo pump claim scientists have spent almost 40 years developing it.

The device will be available on the NHS.

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