Can we prevent diabetic ketoacidosis in children?Pediatr Diabetes 2007; 8 Suppl 6:24-33PD
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is an acute potentially life-threatening complication of diabetes affecting more than 100,000 persons annually in the United States. Although major advances have improved diabetes care, DKA remains the leading cause of hospitalization, morbidity, and death in youth with type 1 diabetes (T1D). As the majority of patients presenting with DKA have established diabetes, it is important to address outpatient educational approaches directed at sick-day management and early identification and treatment of impending DKA. Teaching and reinforcement of sick-day rules involves improved self-care with consistent self-monitoring of blood glucose and ketones, and timely administration of supplemental insulin and fluids. DKA as an initial manifestation of T1D may be less amendable to prevention except with an increased awareness by the lay and medical communities of the symptoms of diabetes and surveillance in high-risk populations potentially identified by family history or genetic susceptibility. New technologies that can detect the blood ketone 3beta-hydroxybutyrate (3beta-OHB) instead of traditional urine ketones appears to provide opportunity for early identification and treatment of impending DKA leading to reduced need for hospitalization and potential cost-savings.