Thursday, 28 July 2011

Type 1 Diabetes & Sickness, Claudia's Stay In Hospital

A simple sickness bug can result in this!!
I have to say that in the 3 years that Claudia has been diagnosed she had never been admitted to hospital.

She has had colds, treated for swine flu, sickness, yet we have always managed her condition and illness at home until Monday !! She has never had anything more than 1+ of ketones, which have gone within a couple of hours.

Monday morning Claudia got up saying she didn't feel well. Her BG was 15 which can happen, so I gave a correction. The previous day her BG's were fab all day between 4-6 with 1 hypo later on. So I really didn't think it was anything serious.

Suddenly Claudia started being sick, she couldn't even keep water down. I looked at her and thought something isn't right. So I called Claudia fab Diabetes Nurse in Leeds. She said lets check for ketones even though her BG was now below 10. The Blood Ketone Meter showed 3.0 of ketones. Wendy said just pop her up to hospital to get her checked out.

So off to hospital we went. We checked in to A& E and waited we were seen by a lovely nurse, by this point Claudia had 3.5 ketones and had been sick again. Her heart rate was faster than it should have been.

Claudia was then seen by a Doctor, he put a cannula in and put her on fluids and we were taken up to the children's ward. I have to say that Claudia was amazing, she opted to have the cannula put straight in rather than waiting for the numbing cream to work. So very proud of her. They took bloods and sent them to the lab.

On the ward, a lovely registrar checked her over and had her blood results. Even though her BG had never gone above 16 at this point her ketones had crept up to 5.8 and her blood was acidic, basically she was in DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidosis)!!

Her pump was disconnected and she was given dextrose(etc) & insulin via IV infusion. She was put on hourly obs, which included, checking her pupils, reflexes, BG, temp & blood pressure. She was also hooked up to a heart monitor ,due to her being dehydrated & in DKA her heart rate was a little faster than it should have been. Bless her Claudia was woken every hour through the night!! I was awake all night(being such a control freak)!!

It brought back lots of memories of when she was first diagnosed.

My thoughts:
Why ?
What happened?
What did I do wrong?
Why did I not see this coming?
She is only 10, she shouldn't have to go through this?
Type 1 Diabetes is a right ..............................!!

In reality it has been a bit of a wake up call for a number of reasons:

First of all you can have "normal BG readings" and still be in DKA
Sickness can come on very quickly and there is nothing you can do to prevent it.
No matter how "well controlled" your diabetes is, it can happen to you/your child.
Sickness & dehydration are a dreadful combination for someone with Type 1.
How valuable Blood Ketone Meters are!!!!! (Glucomen BG/Ketone Meter)

Luckily we made the right call and took her to hospital.Most importantly, there was nothing we could have done to prevent the illness

We are now back at home, Claudia is not 100% but we have no ketones and BG are within normal range

I would like to thank Claudia's team at Leeds for giving great advice.
The lovely Doctor & nurse in A&E. Especially thank you to the fantastic nurses on Ward 8 at Royal Preston Hospital, for being kind, considerate and so understanding.

Most important of all:  if your gut instinct tells you something is not right, go with it. I rarely call our DSN, but I just knew something was not right.
A Mothers Instinct Is Always Right!

I have posted the pictures to help people understand how complex and serious Type 1 Diabetes is.


  1. So sorry to hear this happened so quickly - Claudia is very brave!

    I'm really curious about them putting her on IV dextrose and insulin - how did they manage her changing basal needs etc through this and take into account the dextrose they were giving her? It's something I worry about if I was ever taken into hospital.

  2. Hi Siobhan, they have a calculation based on weight etc, it worked beautifully, she was between 5-6 throughout the night, they reduced the insulin & increased the dextrose as necessary.xx They followed the DKA protocol.

  3. Thanks for that. I am a total control freak over my diabetes and would hate to have interventions of dextrose and insulin that I wasn't in control of! Sounds like they did a great job!

  4. I'm so glad to hear that Claudia is back home recovering! What a great diabetes care team you had!!!!

  5. Thanks for sharing. My 2yr old daughter was just diagnosed with Type 1 on 7-1-11. She also has Asthma so I am so scared for her to go back to daycare because I'm afraid she'll catch a cold/flu. I will just have to trust my instincts as you did and hope for the best.

  6. so sorry you had to go through this.

    I was always told DKA was for sugars above 14.0 - this is scary.

    Tummy bugs are one of our worst trials, my son had one last week.