February 17 Meeting – Kate Dembenski – Diabetes Clinical Nurse

After the AGM (see “News” item: AGM Feb 17) we had a talk by Kate Dembenski, a Diabetes Clinical Nurse in the Paediatric Diabetes Unit at the Gloucester Royal Hospital.

Kate explained about how Type 1 diabetes can affect young children and that increasingly Type 1 is being diagnosed in adults, an extreme case being a lady of 90!!  She also gave a brief explanation of how the hospital treat youngsters when they are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

They are admitted to the hospital as soon as possible, for around 4 – 5 days,  so as to reassure both the child and their parents and also show them what the treatment involves including how to give injections etc.  After that there is daily contact with the parents and regular appointments with Consultants until the diabetes is stabilised and all are confident in controlling the condition.  Although regular checks and appointments carry on until the child reaches 18 years old.

The youngest patient they have at present was diagnosed at 7 months, although babies have been diagnosed when only weeks old!! A sobering thought.

The team also visit schools to explain about diabetes and how they can help and look after fellow pupils who may have the condition.

Kate’s talk was very interesting and informative and all present thoroughly enjoyed it.