Careless. Senseless. Tragic.

I wish that the common cold virus produced insulin. If it did, my immune system would’ve kicked into high-gear and rid my body of these nagging runny-nose, coughing, stuffy-head symptoms that had been bothering me for the last week.

But even more than that, I wish that pediatric doctors were trained to recognize the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes in children*. Or, even better, if they included blood (or urine) glucose tests as standard protocol when seeing a child, making it just as routine as listening to their chest with a stethoscope. It’s incredibly easy to do, but is all too often overlooked.

If you haven’t already, please read Sunday’s post from Tom Karlya on DiabetesDad. Then read ALL the comments (there are a lot!).  It is, perhaps, the most terrifying thing I’ve ever read. Kids come to see their doctor with the classic textbook-symptoms, the doctor writes it off as a common illness or bacterial infection, and then sends him or her home where they ultimately end up in Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), or perhaps even worse.

It’s careless. It’s senseless. And it HAS TO STOP.

I don’t consider myself of much of an advocate, much less an activist, and I rarely direct my readers to other blogs, but this horrifying story, which gets repeated over and over in the comments (and who knows how many other times) demands some sort of action. It does to me, anyway.

Whether the way to right this wrong is via governmental legislation, medical professional associations, or parental education is a conversation that is still ongoing. But something has to happen.

As Tom says often: “Don’t do nothing.”

*I know that this story is not unique to children. But it always seems more tragic, for some reason, when children are the ones affected – perhaps because they are less able to take charge themselves and are more reliant on others, or perhaps because they are younger, cuter, and more innocent than old farts like me. Regardless, things need to change.

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Posted on February 25, 2013, in Diabetes. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. It sucks that such a simple test is available and not used.

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  2. Yes! I was just thinking this same thing this morning after I stumbled upon a video on YouTube about a baby named Rocco who just a couple weeks after his first birthday was havin trouble breathing…diagnosed with a virus and sent home. The parents knew later in the day that someho g was. OT right and took the child to the ER. Well…not sure but from comments looks like maybe he was given an IV with glucose before they made the diagnosis and he had a seizure, went into coma and DIED from DKA. DIED. It is tragic because he couldn’t say that he felt awful. Or that he was thirsty. The parents probably didn’t recognize something off because he was making he transition from formula and bottle. And the former pediatric office nurse in me was left crying, knowing he was most likely in the office for his 12month checkup and shots in the preceding 2 weeks or so…and why in the world is it not standard to test glucose at well-baby check-ups? Especially now as t1d seems to be becoming more prevalent. Our standard was to begin checking urine at check-ups when the child turned 2…but even those were often neglected as the children were just barely potty-trained. Change needs to happen. I plan to speak to our pediatrician at the very next opportunity.

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