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COVID-19 recommendations for children with diabetes published

By Editor
19th March 2020
Care planning, Clinical guidance Coronavirus Paediatrics

A series of recommendations regarding COVID-19 in children with diabetes have been published.

The International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD) has drafted the guidance for all healthcare professionals that care for children, adolescents and young adults with diabetes, in face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A post on the ISPAD website said: “Despite many uncertainties, the COVID-19 pandemic recommendations in most countries include people with diabetes within the at risk population.

“However, there are anecdotal reports that children with diabetes have not shown a different disease pattern compared to their peers. In addition, children in general are less affected than adults.”

Most of the advice is the same that has been issued to the general public such as washing hands and introducing social distancing.

The organisation has also urged young people with diabetes to increase their blood glucose and testing, aiming for a blood glucose level between 4 and 10 mmol/L (70-180 mg/dL) and blood ketones below 0.6 mmol/L when the child is ill.

Insulin must never be stopped and if the child has a fever then insulin needs are usually higher. It has also been recommended that they should monitor and maintain hydration with adequate salt and water balance.

ISPAD has also issued urgent specialist advice for to help healthcare professionals decide whether emergency care must be obtained.

These include:

  • Fever or vomiting persists and/or weight loss continues, suggesting worsening dehydration and potential circulatory compromise.
  • Fruity breath odor (acetone) persists or worsens / blood ketones remain elevated >1.5 mmol/L or urine ketones remain large despite extra insulin and hydration.
  • The child or adolescent is becoming exhausted, confused, hyperventilating (Kussmaul breathing), or has severe abdominal pain.

To read the guidelines in full, click here.

Picture credit: unsplash-logoJelleke Vanooteghem

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