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Home Industry News Thousands of children visit hospital over diabetes

Thousands of children visit hospital over diabetes

23rd June 2008

More effort must be put into educating parents about the early symptoms of diabetes, a charity claimed today.

The warning follows figures which showed that there were more than 3,300 cases of children in England admitted to accident and emergency departments with a diabetic complication, which if not treated quickly can lead to coma.

The complication, named diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), occurs when blood glucose levels are high, causing nausea, vomiting, stomach pain and rapid breathing.

Figures released by Diabetes UK show that children and young people under 18 accounted for over a quarter of the 12,326 emergency admissions for DKA during the 12-month period from April 2006 to March 2007.

In addition, the number of admissions for the under 18s with diabetes increased eight per cent compared to the previous year.

The charity claims that UK has the fourth highest incidence of type one diabetes in children (22 per 100,000 a year) in Europe and the lowest number of children attaining good diabetes control.

It wants better education and awareness amongst parents and healthcare professionals of the early symptoms of diabetes including DKA and access to high quality specialist diabetes services for children and young people living with diabetes.

“The number of children being rushed to A&E with such a life-threatening complication is shocking,” said Diabetes UK chief executive Douglas Smallwood.

“In previous research by Diabetes UK, specialist diabetes staff reported that cuts in diabetes services resulted in an increase in emergency hospital admissions.”

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