Two firsts in Mississippi for a breakthrough in diabetes care

Two firsts in Mississippi for a breakthrough in diabetes care

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI, MS (WLOX) - It’s another milestone in treating diabetes and a first in the country right here on the Coast.

It’s new technology that continues to make treating and controlling diabetes much easier. Now there’s a tiny implantable glucose sensor available, approved just months ago by the FDA. And a local diabetes expert is the first to offer it in Mississippi.

Sixty-three year old Carl Chosa and his wife Tracy, from Biloxi, are looking forward to better controlling Carl’s diabetes. That’s because he’s the first patient in Mississippi to receive the new Eversense Continuous Glucose Monitoring System. Carl believes it will improve his health dramatically.

“I’ve never been very good about checking my glucose. This will actually alarm me if it’s high or low, so I’m looking forward to it, having the control.”

And not only is Carl the first patient in Mississippi to receive the device, the owner of The Diabetes Center in Ocean Springs, KC Arnold, is the first nurse practitioner in the entire U.S. to implant the device.

Arnold says, “I love technology. And we’ve gone from urine strip tests to finger sticks, to sensors, and now the first implantable sensor.”

Arnold went on to say that the device was initially only approved for doctors to implant, and she pushed to make it available to qualified nurse practitioners as well. She says it’s important to stay on the cutting edge.

“I’m ahead of the curve because I fought to become a nurse practitioner certified to do this,” she said.

The tiny sensor goes into the upper arm below the shoulder.

Arnold explains, “There’s a small incision with a scalpel, and then we make a little hole and tunnel with this device to insert the sensor.”

The sensor allows patients to easily read critical glucose levels throughout the day.

Arnold says, “It’s FDA approved to wear for 90 days. The patient wears this transmitter along with the sensor that goes under the skin. We’re excited because this reads to a phone or it vibrates on the patient’s arm if glucose is low or high.”

Carl says he has had some scary moments over his 24 years with diabetes and says this new technology will help control his highs and lows better, protecting his health.

“It will be a hundred times better. I won’t have such a strain on my body with the highs and lows. The highs are really bad, but the lows can be catastrophic.”

Arnold has implanted two more devices in patients since Carl had his procedure.

She says it takes about fifteen minutes and a number of insurance companies are covering the cost.

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