Every January, the American Diabetes Association publishes the revised version of their Clinical Practice Recommendations. When I was first starting out as a diabetes educator, I remember reading the entire document since it contains so much helpful information! Since then, I have used the recommendations for reference and try to keep up with the revisions and additions at the beginning of every year. If you are busy like me, it’s nice to have the quick version of the updates.
Here's a summary of the changes and additions to the Recommendations.
One of the most interesting additions this year was a section on Diabetes and Driving. This position statement was added to help clarify the ADA’s stance on the relationship between licensing requirements and risks associated with the person with diabetes.
I have had several patients with diabetes who run extremely high damaging blood sugars for years in order to keep their Certified Drivers License (CDL). They do this because they would lose their job if they were forced to go on insulin. I have also had a patient with diabetes become a quadriplegic because they unfortunately took their insulin at home on an empty stomach and then drove to meet a friend for breakfast. On the way they had a low blood sugar and hit a tree. The position statement does a good job of advocating for individual assessment of the health condition and driving risks. Since this is not necessarily a black and white solution and assessment takes more time and resources, I think it is our role as educators to help advocate for rights of our patients to decrease not only driving hazards but long term complications of high blood sugars.
Also, another useful addition was a table listing non-insulin diabetes medications. This is a great reference chart with all the medications classes listed.
Are there any additions or changes that you found interesting? Share them with us!