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Management of newly diagnosed diabetes: home or hospital?
  1. L Lowes1,
  2. J W Gregory2
  1. 1Nursing, Health and Social Care Research Centre, Wales, College of Medicine, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, UK
  2. 2Department of Child Health, Wales College of Medicine
  1. Correspondence to:
    Lesley M Lowes
    Research Fellow/Practioner (Paediatric Diabetes), Department of Child Health, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XW, UK; Lowes{at}


Type 1 diabetes is one of the most common chronic childhood disorders, occurring with increasing frequency. Diabetes management involves the child and family learning how to inject insulin and monitor blood glucose, and adhere to a diet containing healthy food choices. Medical interventions necessary to stabilise newly diagnosed diabetes depend upon the clinical condition of the child at presentation. Hospital admission is necessary if intravenous therapy is required to correct dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and ketoacidosis, with progression to oral fluids and subcutaneous insulin administration as the child’s condition improves. If the child is mildly to moderately symptomatic and clinically well, subcutaneous insulin and oral diet and fluids may be begun from the time of diagnosis, and stabilisation at diagnosis does not necessarily require hospital admission. This article reviews the evidence concerning hospital or home based treatment at diagnosis for children with type 1 diabetes. The Cardiff approach to home management is briefly described, and the benefits and disadvantages of different approaches to initial management are discussed.

  • DKA, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and ketoacidosis
  • PDSN, paediatric diabetes specialist nurse
  • WTE, whole time equivalent
  • diabetes mellitus
  • home management

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