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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 710-714

Root cause analysis of diabetic ketoacidosis admissions at a tertiary referral pediatric emergency department in North India

1 Department of Pediatrics, Advanced Pediatrics Centre, PGIMER, Chandigarh, Haryana, India
2 Division of Pediatrics, Medanta-The Medicity, Gurgaon, Haryana, India
3 Department of Pediatrics, Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Muralidharan Jayashree
Department of Pediatrics, Advanced Pediatrics Centre, PGIMER, Chandigarh-160012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijem.IJEM_178_17

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Objectives: To identify system-based factors contributing to Emergency Department (ED) admissions of children with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and related complications with emphasis on parental and physician awareness and prereferral management. Materials and Methods: A prospective observational root cause analysis study of all consecutive admissions of children with DKA to pediatric ED of a tertiary care referral hospital in northern India over a period of 1 year (July 2010–June 2011). Prehospital, health-care system, referral, follow-up, and continuum of care related details were obtained through direct interview of parents and physicians and/or field observations for all enrolled children. Results: Of the 30 children enrolled, 26 (86.6%) were referrals; 16 (61.5%) from first, 7 (26.9%) from second, and 3 (11.5%) from third health-care facility. More than half (n [%], 18 [60%]) had new onset diabetes and belonged to lower socioeconomic strata. Twenty-two (73.3%) were complicated DKA; shock (n [%], 19 [63%]), hypokalemia (n [%], 11 [36%]), and CE (n [%], 3 [10%]) were the most common complications. Most parents were ignorant of diabetes, its symptoms or complicating DKA. Nearly, half of the cases remained undiagnosed (n = 11) at first contact health-care facility; more so for new onset as compared to known diabetes (9/18 vs. 2/8; P = 0.022). The referring hospitals had limited facilities for rapid blood glucose estimation (n [%], 12 [40%]), blood gas analysis (n [%], 6 [20%]) and insulin infusion. On univariate analysis, patients with missed/delayed diagnosis more often had severe and complicated DKA. Conclusion: Parental ignorance, lower socioeconomic status, lack of clinical experience, and limited primary health-care facilities were root causes for severe and complicated DKA.

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