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Diabetes

We provide diagnosis, treatment and education for children and families affected by diabetes.
About

We see infants, children and adolescents with type 1, type 2 and other forms of diabetes, as well as some children who are at high risk of developing diabetes, and their families.

If you need to cancel

If you need to cancel your appointment, please contact us as soon as possible (at least 48 hours ahead of time, if you can) so that your appointment time can be used by another patient.

If your child has an infection

If your child has been in contact with any infectious diseases (such as chicken pox or measles) during the three weeks before your appointment, please let us know immediately. We might need to reschedule your appointment.

If you need an interpreter

If an interpreter would be helpful for you, please phone us as soon as possible and we will arrange for this.

Other contact information

  • General clinical inquiries: 604-875-2868
  • Toll-free: 1-888-300-3088, ext 2868
  • Fax: 604-875-3231
  • Administrative secretary: 604-875-2624
  • Diabetes Clinic: 604-875-2868
  • Diabetes referrals: 604-875-2868, or by fax
  • 24-hour emergency pager: 604-875-2161, ask for on-call physician
  • Website inquiries: dmetzger@cw.bc.ca
  • Endocrine Laboratory: 604-875-2345, x7446
  • Medical Investigation Facility (testing room): 604-875-2345, x7591
  • Medical Day Unit / Diabetes Day Program: 604-875-3680
Prepare

What happens at your first visit

You can get directions to the clinic from the admitting desk in the lobby. Normally, patients are pre-registered and come straight to the clinic.

We may contact your family prior to your first visit to determine your learning needs. If needed, some families will need to return for more in-depth teaching on another day.

Plan on being at the hospital for at least three hours for your first clinic visit. Younger siblings may find this tiring, and although they are welcome, alternative babysitting arrangements may make your visit more comfortable.

Please let us know your questions and any way we can make your visit more comfortable.

Several things will happen at your first visit:

  • physician, nurse and dietician meetings
  • bloodwork
  • lab tests

Physician, nurse & dietitian meetings

Your child will be seen by a physician, a diabetes nurse educator and a diabetes dietitian. Each of these visits will last about 30–60 minutes. You will be with your young child for the entire visit. Adolescents and their parents are welcome to see the clinic staff separately as well.

Bloodwork

Your child will have an A1C done by fingerpoke, and you will receive the results in clinic. If your child is afraid of needles, there are topical anesthetics that can help. EMLA® and Ametop™ are effective topical anesthetics when applied one to two hours prior to the “needle poke”. Ask the nurse or doctor about this when you arrive.

Lab testing

Finally, your child will go to the laboratory for (non-fasting) blood and possibly urine testing. A detailed report of your child’s assessment will be sent to your family and referring doctors, and to other health professionals at your request.

What to bring

It is important to your child to make this visit as informative as possible, so the adult(s) who come with her/him should have the best knowledge of the history. If possible, bring previous height and weight measurements.

Please bring the following to each clinic visit:

  • your BC CareCard/Service Card
  • your blue BC Children’s Hospital card (if you have one)
  • the blood glucose meter (if you already have one)
  • if you are already doing blood sugar testing, a written record of the logbook (at least two to three weeks’ worth)
  • if your child is on an insulin pump, please download it prior to the visit
  • your child's meal plan

Many parents find it helpful to bring a list of questions they would like to discuss when they are here.

Who you will see

You will meet several members of our team:

  • clerical staff: to book appointments
  • diabetes nurse educators: to help you understand your child's condition and treatment
  • diabetes dietitians: to discuss lifestyle and nutrition for your child’s growth and development
  • a social worker or counsellor: to help you cope with the stresses of your child’s condition and find practical financial and mental-health resources
  • physicians (pediatric endocrinologists): who are specialists in childhood diabetes

Because BC Children's Hospital is a teaching hospital, you may also meet doctors-in-training (pediatric residents, endocrinology fellows and medical students), dietitian interns and student nurses.

Seeing a social worker

Many of our patients or parents would like to see the social worker/counsellor on the first visit. If this is the case, please call her at 604-875-2345, x7091, so that she can book an appointment during the time you will be here.

Follow-up

We follow most patients every 3 to 6 months in the clinic (children under 6 every 3 months), depending on your child's age, how far away you live, and your doctor's wishes. We will arrange a follow-up visit with you before you leave. 

Follow-up visits are shorter, about 60–90 minutes, to see everyone and go to the lab if necessary.

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