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Intern Med J. 2018 Apr;48(4):396-402. doi: 10.1111/imj.13649.

Access to a youth-specific service for young adults with type 1 diabetes mellitus is associated with decreased hospital length of stay for diabetic ketoacidosis.

Author information

1
Diabetes Transition Support Program, Department Diabetes and Endocrinology, Westmead Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
2
Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
3
Diabetes Transition Support Program, Department Diabetes and Endocrinology, Nepean Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Management of type 1 diabetes mellitus in youth with diabetes (YWD) is complex, and glycaemic control often deteriorates during this challenging period. We hypothesise that attendance at a youth-specific diabetes clinic reduces hospital admission rates and length of stay (LOS) for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

AIMS:

To assess the impact of a youth-specific diabetes service for YWD on DKA admissions in two adjacent local health districts.

METHODS:

A retrospective cohort analysis of admissions for DKA in YWD aged 15-25 years, presenting to four hospitals in Western Sydney in 2011 was performed. Number of admissions, LOS and DKA severity were assessed. Cost was analysed as a function of LOS. Groups were divided by attendance at a youth-specific diabetes service and no record of attendance.

RESULTS:

There were 55 DKA admissions from 39 patients (median age 20.0 years); the majority of admissions (82%) was YWD not supported by a youth-specific diabetes service. Median LOS was significantly longer in the unsupported group (3.0 vs 1.5 days, P = 0.028). Median pH at presentation in the unsupported group was significantly lower, 7.11 versus 7.23 (P = 0.05). The admission rate was four times greater for those not supported by youth-specific diabetes services, 5.5% compared with 1.6% (P = 0.001). The estimated cost saved by youth-specific services was over $250,000 pa.

CONCLUSIONS:

Lack of access to supported care for YWD during transition from paediatric to adult care has an adverse impact on subsequent DKA admission rates and LOS.

KEYWORDS:

adolescent health; diabetic ketoacidosis; length of stay; type 1 diabetes mellitus; youth

PMID:
29034986
DOI:
10.1111/imj.13649
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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