A questionnaire has been developed to help improve care for young people with type 1 diabetes who develop diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and are in the transitional period between pediatric and adult care health teams.
DKA can develop if the body starts to run out of insulin. Without sufficient insulin, production of ketones, an alternative source of energy to glucose, can get out of control. If DKA is not treated quickly it can become life threatening.
At the moment, most healthcare professionals in the UK use the Joint British Diabetes Societies (JBDS) guidelines for treating DKA which have been prepared for people with type 1 diabetes over the age of 18 years.
There are separate guidelines available for use in under 18s. However, currently, it is unknown whether teenagers within the 16-18 years old age group are being treated with the appropriate set of guidelines for under 18s.
In order to answer this, a questionnaire has been developed for hospital staff in either adult or pediatric services who look after people with DKA within the first hour of initial presentation.
The questionnaire has been developed by Dr Ketan Dhatariya, consultant in diabetes, endocrinology and general medicine from the Elsie Bertram Diabetes Centre and Dr Andy Raffles, honorary consultant pediatrician from the East and North Herts Institute of Diabetes and Endocrinology.
Dr Dhatariya stated: “The care of 16 to 18-year olds presenting with DKA is fraught with difficulty. Whilst they may have their outpatient care in the children and young persons’ department, if they are admitted to hospital, their care maybe delivered by a number of different teams – adult or pediatrics, who may or may not have a specialist interest in diabetes.
“We want to get as many replies as possible to get an understanding of the current state of affairs for this potentially vulnerable group of individuals.”

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