Paediatric diabetes care not up to adult standard

Mon, 01 Oct 2012
Children who suffer from diabetes are receiving a lower standard of care than that offered to adult diabetics, according to a new study by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH).

The institution found that while child diabetes care in England and Wales is improving, many kids are still not receiving the same standard of treatment as adults, with the study revealing that many care units are failing to provide crucial health checks for young diabetics .

While 50 per cent of adults with diabetes receive the eight vital care processes which test eyesight, cholesterol levels and blood pressure, the figure for children with diabetes is just 6 per cent.

The research was based on findings from the National Paediatric Diabetes Audit, which examined the treatment of more than 23,000 young people with diabetes .

The results indicate that the quality of paediatric diabetes care is at an eight-year high. But they also suggest that many child diabetics across England and Wales face a postcode lottery when it comes to key health checks and treatment .

In addition, they show that an increasing number of children are being admitted to hospital with potentially fatal diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), with DKA admission rates climbing from 8.5 per 100,000 people in the general population in to 15 per 100,000 over the last seven years.

Dr Justin Warner, consultant in paediatric endocrinology and diabetes at the RCPCH, said: "We are concerned with the steady increase in the number of admissions for DKA, which can be caused by a number of factors such as a delay in the recognition of symptoms which if caught early could be managed at home, avoiding hospital admission."

"It is becoming increasingly prevalent amongst young females aged 15 to 19 - and we need to find out exactly why and how we can bring levels down."
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