If you/your child is admitted to a hospital

I’m curious about how outspoken patients are about their diabetes when they are going to the hospital (planned admission or emergency room). If you’ve been in this situation, for reasons other than diabetes related issues, do you tell your provider or nurse that you or your child has T1D?

Has a lack of communication between you and the hospital staff led to problems with managing your sugars? Have you ever been switched to a different type(s) of insulin that led to poor glucose control?

@T1dadandICU-RN hi Joel, as a condition of admission, I insist that I am in charge of blood sugar, that I can test and administer my own insulin. When the boss doctor agrees, they put it in my chart. It’s been 100% effective for me, including 2 surgeries.

Joel @T1dadandICU-RN, when in ER, surgery or an admitted patient, I insist on managing my insulin and diabetes - unless and until I ask for assistance.
Prior to a half dozen surgeries I’ve told the surgeon and anesthesiologist how I WILL manage my insulin - I’m insistent on that.

In January, day before surgery during pre-op testing, after I informed the hospital that I would manage my pump flow the anesthesiologist contact me for instruction on diabetes management.

Thanks @joe and @Dennis, I’m glad to hear that your stays have gone well and providers have been very responsive.

Anyone out there have any negative experiences? Poor communication? Too sick to think about telling ER staff that you’re a T1D who needs insulin?

If you do a forum search on “hospital “ or follow this older thread


You can read some horror stories of hospitalization. I am sure there are more.

Several years ago I had an elective surgical procedure planned. I had all the testing done, my Endo was advised and did whatever he needed to do, etc etc etc. I use/d a pump and CGM and as they were prepping me to go in I gave them instructions on reading the CGM screen and what to do if my numbers rose or fell. It was then that I was told they could not take those instructions from me - only my doctor😱! Well I didn’t expect to be able to get a hold of him at a moment’s notice and could have called it off, but I really didn’t want to go through the prep work, fasting etc again. I am and was a pretty boring diabetic as these things go so I decided to go through with it. My sugars did drop and I woke up to a nurse repeating my name over and over - something that probably wouldn’t have happened if they had paid attention to my CGM and (I would like to think) my instructions, but I was okay afterwards. Lesson to self: when having elective surgery, have your Endo prescribe instructions for treating highs and lows if they take place during the procedure.
As a side note - something I learned from when I was carrying for my elderly mother who was hospitalized a few times during the last years of her life: if you’re going to the hospital for an elective procedure (or even seeing a new doctor) take your prescription bottles with you. It may be considered more “official” than a simple written list, particularly if you take RX painkillers or certain types of meds; and they can very verify with the prescribing doctor if necessary. Might be a great time saver and I don’t know but perhaps they can dispense from your own supply rather than charging you for theirs.

I had to be admitted due to intestinal issues. Unexpectedly! But I flat told all nurses and Drs that I would care and manage all my meds and insulin. Told them I hadn’t spent last five yrs trying to control and was not gonna let some well meaning aide who doesn’t understand that I have very little time to treat or bigger issues can occur. Took me 2 hrs of arguments with hospital personnel, but I also had Endo backing that I should treat and not to surrender my insulin or equipment to anyone. Made throughok! Found out I can crash. With an iv in! Surprised me as it was standard glucose solution.
I’d just get Endo backing ahead of time for that just in case scenario.

Hi, both me and my daughter are T1 and have had had non-diabetes related trips to the ER and scheduled minor surgeries. We both wear pumps which make it a bit easier to be identified as diabetics. I have been a bit shocked at how little most nurses and anesthesiologists actually know about treating T1 and the pump. Having said that I will always (as long as I can) take control of the situation. I have strongly suggested keeping my pump in during procedures; they may want to tape over all insertion areas which is fine. I will always try to enter the surgical space with a BG that is higher than normal and will turn off the high alerts for a few hours. I ask the nurses to check my BG before and after, while I’m recovery, etc. bottom line, my feel is take as much control as possible. In the event the ER visit was a real emergency and I was unconscious, that would be a very scary situation…hopefully wearing a pump, CGM with 2 insertions on my body will alert the ER staff.