DKA kids shown to be at high risk for death

British investigators recently reported that children and young adults with insulin-dependent diabetes are at increased risk for death from diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).1 (See related pathway in Critical Path Network, p. 23.) They analyzed records from the first half of this decade for causes of death in young people when diabetes appeared on the death certificate, and found that 83 of 128 were a direct result of diabetes. Of 45 youths who died in the hospital during treatment for DKA, 28 had confirmed cerebral edema. In another nine, cerebral edema was listed as a possible cause. The authors note that a large number of boys and young men died at home with poorly controlled diabetes.


1. Edge JA, Ford-Adams ME, Dunger DB. Causes of death in children with insulin dependent diabetes 1990-96. Arch Dis Child 1999; 81:318-323.