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From America OnLine:

My son is five years old, and is newly diagnosed with diabetes. Due to several other factors about his inadequate care, he developed pneumonia in the hospital. I would like to know if this makes any difference in his glucose levels, and how soon after the pneumonia is gone, can I expect him to begin to stabilize? Also, is pneumonia contagious, and should we be masked when we go near him?


Pneumonia will certainly cause loss of blood glucose control because of an increased demand for insulin. Your diabetes team will provide you with "sick day" guidelines which include boosting normal insulin doses and often giving extra doses of regular (soluble) insulin. Your son's sugars will gradually improve as his pneumonia begins to heal and he returns to a normal pattern of activity/eating and drinking.

Your question suggests that you were less than happy with his care in hospital but it may be unfair to blame his pneumonia on this. Children newly presenting with diabetes often have mild to moderate illnesses which (if it wasn't for the diabetes) would not have caused great problems. It's just that when their insulin making capacity is very low, even minor illness can cause the diabetes to declare itself.

Unless the hospital staff have particularly told you to wear masks you don't need to do so.


Original posting 4 Oct 96


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