Kids with diabetes treated at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital have one less blood test to wait for, thanks to advanced equipment now available. There are over 200 children and young persons, aged 0 – 19 years, with diabetes treated at the Alex each year. Upon admittance and throughout their stay, it is vitally important to continually check the ketone levels in their blood. If ketone levels are too high, the condition needs to be fixed quickly or else it can turn into Diabetic Ketoacidosis which if left untreated can be fatal.
Previously, ketone levels were evaluated through IV blood tests which were sent to the lab for review. Although these tests were completed as quickly as possible, there was a time lag between patient’s giving blood and the result. Now, thanks to donations to the Royal Alex Children’s Hospital charitable fund, children and young people are able to have their ketone levels tested instantly by a ketone meter, through the duration of their stay. The new ketone meters are easy to use as well, requiring just a simple finger prick right at the bedside, similar to the glucose level tests most of these patients are used to doing at home.
Yvonne Stone, Children and Young Person’s Diabetes Clinical Nurse Specialist, raved about having the ketone meters onsite, stating, “We’ve only had the meters for a few months, but they are already making a difference. They help with quicker treatment decision-making, and it’s a much easier test to ask children and young people to. We’re so grateful for the support we receive from the charity for equipment like this.”