Diabetes + Hospitals = disaster

Jeanette Terry
By Jeanette Terry Latest Reply 2013-07-12 07:46:07 -0500
Started 2013-07-03 14:57:39 -0500

I was just reading this article about and audit report that revealed that most patients that are hospitalized for some other reason receive very poor diabetes care and can be at risk for Ketoacidosis.
You can read the whole article here: http://www.diabeticconnect.com/diabetes-news/...

This article struck a cord with me because during my last pregnancy I received horrible care when it came to my diabetes. No one there knew what they were doing for diabetes care. I had preterm labor and was hospitalized about a month before my baby was due and ended up staying in the hospital several days longer than I needed to because they kept trying to adjust my insulin for me causing to go up and down like a roller coaster. I tried to tell them that it would be better if I did it myself. I have learned from my mistakes and will never ever let a nurse try to control my insulin for me. Now every time I go to the hospital I demand that I stay in control of my blood sugar testing and the insulin that I give. That is the only way that they won't put me at serious risk.

Has anyone else had a bad experience at the hospital when it came to your diabetes care?

12 replies

dawnchapman 2013-07-12 07:46:07 -0500 Report

Gabby I have had too many poor experiences to list. I have been Type 1 brittle diabetic for 34+ years. At many jobs the ambulance was called at least once a week. I have had nurses throw out Mt. Dew when blood sugar has been low also (I still function at a 40 blood glucose.) There is a book that is great for explaining about complex carbs and simple carbs~ It explains about the length of time it typically takes to have the sugar chains to 'break down'. The book is called ' The Sugar Solution' by Sari Harrar. I hope this helps you some . Thank you for sharing! Dawn Chapman

Armourer 2013-07-07 02:11:36 -0500 Report

Tis true!!! Last fall I was hospitalized when my left arm swelled three times its size due to internal infection. Diabetes care was terrible. I had only two nurses who let me do it myself (testing & injecting insulin, and carb counting) (no body understood carb counting) stating "Wish medicine would let diabetics who know what to do would just let them do it all by themselves." What was sad was that most medical folks knew nothing. But then many diabetics don't know what to do either.

Armarni 2013-07-06 21:22:35 -0500 Report

Absolutely. I have had the same type of experience. I have a pump and most of the hospital staff are not even familiar with it. In addition, they want to change my insulin if I don't manage it myself and hospital protocol dictates they only check blood sugar at certain times (regardless of whether or not you might be hypo on your own glucometer). It is a very scary thought for me to think I might be in the hospital, sometime, when I am not in a position to manage my own Type 1 diabetes. Luckily, till now, I have been able to do so. The nurses don't seem to mind because it is less work for them anyway.

Ebony Faith
Ebony Faith 2013-07-05 21:43:58 -0500 Report

I was in the ER for an infection and they speed pumped a liter of saline into me thinking I needed some hydration. About 3/4 of it was in and my diabetes assist dog alerted me. (I have hypoglycemia unawareness so i get no symptoms of lows) I put on my call light, but no one came in. My dog got progressively more upset so finally I pulled out my own meter and checked. I was at 52. I saw a nurse walk by and called out to her that I needed help. I told her I could not have anything with fructose or wheat in it. She offered me OJ, cranberry or apple juice. I said that they all had fructose. She offered me graham crackers. No, wheat. I asked if they had glucose or D50 and was told that it would need to be ordered from the pharmacy. Then she said, "Don't you carry glucose tabs with you?" um, hello, I'm in a hospital, I didn't think you wanted me to self-medicate. So I took my own glucose tabs. The IV finished 10 minutes later and they handed me my discharge papers. They never checked my blood sugar to see if it had come back up. Talked to my Dr the next day. The ER didn't even document the event. I will never go back to that place!

jigsaw 2013-07-04 17:10:32 -0500 Report

Fortunately, I have not had any experiences concerning my diabetes while in the hospital, but thanks for the heads up!

danners 2013-07-04 12:34:34 -0500 Report

When I first got diagnosed I went to emergency care and thought I had a kidney infection the doctor ran some tests then sent his assistant in and handed me a paper telling me my sugars were 550 and we r sorry to tell u u r a diabetic.. not what kind of diabetic nothing just sent me home with nothing but that piece of paper!! I ended up passing out the next nite and my 7 yr old had to figure out what to do.. he called my mom and she called911… I ended up 4 days in the hospital and found out I was type 1 it was really scarry.

GabbyPA 2013-07-03 18:46:48 -0500 Report

I did not personally, but my mom sure did. What part of a diabetic menu should include orange juice, cereal and toast for breakfast? Really? And when she was out of the surgery several hours and talking slurred, I had them check her glucose to make sure she was not having a low, since it had been so many hours since she had eaten.

I will say, that while she was in rehab, they did a much better job there. The nurses worked with her instead of ignoring it or trying to do it themselves. I'm sure it depends on where you are and how much of an advocate you are for yourself or if you have some one to be an advocate for you.

It certainly is amazing that in a place where they are supposed to be able to treat most anything, they don't have a clue about how to help a diabetic.

Downey Girl
Downey Girl 2013-07-03 18:30:21 -0500 Report

I also had a bad experience while in the hospital with my diabetes care. They would test my blood sugar to soon after I ate, and I would tell them that it was too soon, but they would go ahead and test it any ways. Then they tried to give me insulin shot because it was too high. I would tell them that they check it too soon and that I did not need a shot. Then they would bring food from the cafeteria that would have a little card with my name and that it was a diabetic meal and it would be a high carb meal that I could not eat. The whole experience was a nightmare.

Jeanette Terry
Jeanette Terry 2013-07-10 15:07:17 -0500 Report

I had the same thing with them testing too soon after a meal. The first couple of times they insisted I give insulin, and then didn't know what to do when it dropped. I luckily had some snacks and took care of it myself. I was supposed to be discharged the next day, but they wouldn't discharge me until my blood sugars "stabilized". It was their own fault that there were highs and lows. I finally just had to request to leave so that I could take care of myself.

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