SH is a medical emergency where a patient, with diabetes, has blood sugar
drop so low so fast that they lose motor coordination and pass out. It can happen at any
time - while standing, walking, driving a car or sleeping. The patient may
suffer seizures and could lapse into a diabetic coma. Death is unusual but can
occur. Because of the loss of consciousness the patient is unable to treat themselves
and needs the help of another person.
Who does this affect?
Patients using insulin are generally considered
to be at the highest risk. However, patients taking a combination of medications, with or without insulin, can also be at risk. Since all patients with Type 1 diabetes
are insulin dependent, they are considered the most susceptible. Type 2
patients (especially those using insulin) may also be at risk.
What is the standard treatment?
Standard treatment for this medical emergency has been an injection of a hormone called glucagon. Glucagon is a naturally
occurring hormone produced by the pancreas that is used to regulate blood
sugars (in the opposite direction of insulin). When secreted, it signals the
liver to release stored glucose into the blood stream. This system is impaired
in patients with diabetes such that the body doesn't recognize the rapid drop
in blood glucose and insufficient glucagon is released to automatically tell
the liver to react. An injection of glucagon sends a loud message to the liver
to release glucose. The patient should regain consciousness about 10-15
minutes after the injection. As they awaken oral forms of glucose can be given to stabilize the
What is the current treatment system?
The current treatments consist of a hard plastic
case containing a vial of freeze-dried glucagon powder and a syringe pre-filled with a
diluent. In the event of the emergency, since the patient cannot help themselves, a
2nd party must find the kit, mix, aspirate air and then inject the glucagon. Those
who have gone through this process know there are about 15 steps to complete. There is the potential for broken or bent needles, needle sticks before or after
injection, need for disposal of the needle, vial and more. Many caregivers have
reported problems and asked for something like EpiPenTM.
What is GlucaPen® ?
GlucaPen® is an auto-injector pen containing glucagon - which is substantially different from the currently marketed hypo-kits.
Our design integrates the glucagon powder and diluent into a dual chamber
cartridge within the pen. The pen also has a pre-attached needle which is
only activated at the time of use. The needle is hidden both before, and after
the shot. It takes 3 simple steps to activate, mix and inject.
Take a look at some images and an animated video clip on our “Images and Video”
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