TULSA, OK -- The OU-Tulsa Pediatric Diabetes Center is kicking off a new education campaign to help in the prevention of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in children.
DKA is a life-threatening complication of diabetes that occurs when extremely high blood glucose levels, combined with a severe lack of insulin, cause the breakdown of body fat for energy and the buildup of ketones in the blood and urine.
DKA is the leading cause of death in children with Type 1 Diabetes.
More than 13,000 children are diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in the U.S. every year.
The proportion of newly diagnosed patients presenting in DKA is typically 25 - 30 percent in the U.S., as well as in Tulsa and Oklahoma.
However, a recent analysis of OU-Tulsa Pediatric Diabetes Center patients revealed that those with SoonerCare or Medicaid insurance coverage had over a 50 percent rate of DKA at the time of diagnosis.
January and February are typically the months in which the most diagnoses of Type 1 Diabetes occur.
"Our goal is to educate parents, teachers, caregivers and medical providers about the early symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes, so that diagnosis and treatment can begin before symptoms progress to DKA," said David Jelley, M.D., Hille Chair of Diabetes and Medical Director of the Tulsa branch of the Harold Hamm Oklahoma Diabetes Center.
The public awareness campaign coincides with an ongoing investigative study led by Dr. Jelley.
"Some parents or caregivers may notice these symptoms but think they're simply behavioral and not necessarily serious, so they don't contact a doctor. Even when the symptoms are discussed with the child's physician, they may not be recognized as early signs of diabetes," said Dr. Jelley.
For more information about OU-Tulsa, call 660-3000 or visit tulsa.ou.edu.