COVID-19 and Diabetes: Patterns Emerge, with Dr. Anne Peters was released on 10 April 2020. She’s saying exactly what we’ve been suggesting:
- There has been an issue in hospitals where patients on insulin drips can’t get hourly blood glucose readings because the staff doesn’t have enough personal protective equipment to go in and out of patient rooms to do the testing. Patients must be prepared to do self-monitoring of glucose levels in the hospital if they happen to end up hospitalized. I encourage patients with type 1 diabetes and those with type 2 diabetes on insulin to prepare a kit that they could bring with them to the hospital. This kit includes testing supplies (if people are doing self-monitoring of blood glucose) and sensors (if people are on a sensor).
- People need to remember such details as bringing charger cables for their iPhones, iPads, and anything else they may need to help self-monitor their glucose levels if hospitalized. This is particularly important now because family members aren’t allowed into hospitals to bring the pieces that someone may have forgotten at home.
- In my patients with type 1 diabetes, I make sure that they are prepared with glucose-containing fluids at home, and that they’re able to give injected insulin. I also make sure that they have ketone test strips at home and some sort of antiemetic so they can keep down fluids.
- For my patients who are able to test for ketones and connect with me, I’ve kept them on their SGLT2 inhibitor, but I suggest monitoring this on a case-by-case basis.
Watch Video on Medscape: COVID-19 and Diabetes: Patterns Emerge
“Blood Sugar Rising” is mostly an unsparing account of the physical and emotional toll of diabetes. SPOILER ALERT: includes lots about diabetes complications, including amputations of extremities!
AIRING: BLOOD SUGAR RISING, Wednesday, 15 April 2020, 9pm on PBS
For any filmmaker, author, or artist, diabetes is tricky to tackle. The disease has become an epidemic, with immense physical and financial costs to people with diabetes and rising burdens on health systems. At the same time, treatments and therapies have improved dramatically, as we now have more effective drugs and high-tech devices as well as a deeper understanding of exercise and diet.
So, if you’re an artist and want a strong point of view, you have to decide: is the glass half full or half empty?
It’s clear how David Alvarado has decided. He has written and directed an outstanding documentary on diabetes – the best I’ve seen – called “Blood Sugar Rising,” which will be aired on PBS on April 15. If you are looking for something inspirational, however, you’re better off watching Disney.
Changes to CGM in Hospitals: Updated Rules and Generous CGM Donations was shared by Eliza Skoler and Albert Cai on diaTribe.org, 14 April 2020.
Abbott and Dexcom announced that the FDA is allowing continuous glucose monitors (CGM) to be used in hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic. Until now, CGMs have not been permitted in hospitals and are still not officially approved by the FDA for hospital use.
This update is great news for people with diabetes, for several reasons:
- More than half of people with diabetes who have been diagnosed with coronavirus have been hospitalized. Going to the hospital for any reason, but especially during the pandemic, is scary. People with diabetes who use CGM will feel more assured while in the hospital. This added sense of security cannot be overstated.
- CGM means that healthcare professionals can monitor people in the hospital more remotely, without having to come into contact with them more frequently to check their blood sugar. This is important because it can reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
In partnership with the American Diabetes Association (ADA), Insulin For Life USA, and the Diabetes Disaster Response Coalition, Abbott plans to donate 25,000 FreeStyle Libre CGM sensors to hospitals in US cities where the virus is widespread.
Dexcom began shipping CGMs to hospitals on April 4 and plans to make 100,000 sensors to sell to hospitals at low-cost. Dexcom will also donate 10,000 phones and CGM readers to hospitals for scanning the sensors.