Sidra Medicine hosted its first webinar recently for parents with children with Type 1 diabetes, offering guidance regarding their care during Covid-19.
Hosted by Prof Goran Petrovski, senior attending physician, and moderated by Judith Campbell, nurse practitioner from Sidra Medicine’s Diabetes Clinic, the session focused on diabetes management processes for parents and teenagers, especially during the current pandemic.
Prof Petrovski said, ‘The pandemic is a global challenge as it has impacted the healthcare sector, including supplies for medication, support services and technology pathways worldwide. This has a multiplier effect that cascades across the healthcare spectrum as patient families are too scared to regularly follow up on doctors’ visits or maintain a regular routine for their children.’
‘While people with Type 1 diabetes who are controlling their glucose levels (if their glucose control is in satisfied range) are not considered high risk for contracting Covid-19, it is still critical to apply the same level of diligence with regular hand washing; wearing masks and maintaining social and physical distancing. For those living with diabetes particularly children and teenagers, the mental and physical impact on them is concerning. Long periods of staying at home has meant that many of them are experiencing glucose deterioration due to reduced exercise and increased stress,’ he continued.
The Diabetes Clinic at Sidra Medicine recommends parents caring for children with diabetes should:
* Continue with a normal schedule of medicine for their children.
* Keep their child well hydrated ensuring they are drinking plenty of water and also ensure they are eating a balanced diet.
* Encourage their child to maintain regular physical activity even if staying at home or indoors.
* Make a list of active medicines and doses and stock up on necessary items, including supplements and vitamins. We recommend that they include alcohol swabs, extra hand sanitisers, ketone strips, glucagon, etc.
* Monitor their child’s blood glucose (sugar) and ketones more than usual and maintain the blood sugar readings at the target range. A child’s sugar targets depend on several factors (age and duration of diabetes).
* Keeping a stock of food items that will maintain their child’s carbohydrate intake in a healthy way. This includes simple carbohydrates to treat lows, which should be kept separate from other food in the house. Keeping them separate ensures they will be available when needed.
* Follow up with their healthcare providers – event via phone or virtual consultations.
* Make a list of the name and phone number of their child’s healthcare providers or services and keeping it handy for anyone to take action should the need arise.
Sidra Medicine has adapted to ensuring minimal disruption to patient services during the pandemic, by working closely with the wider healthcare network and by putting in place safety protocols to ensure staff, patients and their families are safe, a press statement notes. The Diabetes Clinic also offers virtual consultations and patient education, particularly for those relying on closed loop systems or using continuous glucose monitoring systems that can remotely managed.
The ‘Children with Type 1 Diabetes and Covid-19’ webinar is part of the ‘Meet Sidra Medicine’s Experts’ series aimed at educating the community, parents and women on various health and wellbeing topics. For more details regarding future free webinars, one can visit www.sidra.org/events.