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'Autopen', insulin injection pen, United Kingdom, 1985

The ‘Autopen’ (shown on the left) is a handheld device used by people with diabetes to inject insulin into the body. Diabetes is a condition where the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to break down sugars in the body to pass on to the cells and release energy. The injected dose can be varied easily. The pen is a discreet way to administer insulin and is easy to use. Made by Owen Mumford Ltd, the Autopen can be bought from medical suppliers and is available on prescription. It is shown here with a similar device (1993-1451).

Object number:

1993-932

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    Glossary: hypodermic syringe

    A syringe is a simple piston pump consisting of a plunger that fits tightly in a tube. The plunger can be pulled and pushed along inside a cylindrical tube (the barrel), allowing the syringe to take in and expel a liquid or gas through an orifice at the open end of the tube. In modern medicine, a syringe is often fitted with a hypodermic needle to create a hypodermic syringe which is most commonly used for injecting materials directly into the bloodstream.

    Glossary: injection pen

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    Glossary: diabetes

    This term refers to any form of metabolic disorder characterized by extreme thirst and excess urine production.

    Glossary: insulin

    A hormone that causes the body's cells to take up glucose from the blood. (Diabetes is the loss of control of the body's levels of insulin.)

    Glossary: syringe

    An instrument used for injecting or withdrawing fluids. The open end of the syringe may be fitted with a hypodermic needle for injection into the bloodstream.