Adolescent with Diabetic Ketoacidosis, Hypothermia and Pneumomediastinum
The target audience of this simulation is emergency medicine residents and medical students. The simulation is based on a real case of a 12-year-old male who presented obtunded with shortness of breath and hypothermia who was ultimately diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and pneumomediastinum. This case highlights the diagnosis and management of an adolescent with new onset diabetic ketoacidosis and pneumomediastinum with deterioration of status, as well as important ventilator settings if intubation is required in the setting of diabetic ketoacidosis.
Type 1 diabetes is a common disease in the pediatric population with the prevalence being approximately 2.15 per 1000 youths and diabetic ketoacidosis being the presenting status in 30-40% of the patients.1 Physicians who evaluate a child with altered mental status must have diabetic ketoacidosis in their differential. In the setting of mechanical ventilation in patients with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), special care must be taken. Mechanical ventilation in these patients comes with increased risk, morbidity, and mortality. Risk factors for pneumomediastinum include lung disease such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and malignancy, but also can occur in the acute setting of vomiting or trauma.
By the end of the simulation, learners will be able to: 1) develop a differential diagnosis for an adolescent who presents obtunded with shortness of breath; 2) discuss the management of diabetic ketoacidosis; 3) discuss management of hypothermia in a pediatric patient; 4) discuss appropriate ventilator settings in a patient with diabetic ketoacidosis; and 5) demonstrate interpersonal communication with family, nursing, and consultants during high stress situations.
This is a high-fidelity simulation that allows learners to manage the diagnosis and treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis and hypothermia in an adolescent patient. Participants participated in a debriefing after the simulation. There should be approximately 4-5 learners per case. This simulation was performed in 3 sessions. Each learner performed this simulation one time.
The effectiveness of this case was evaluated by surveys given to learners after debriefing. Learners gave quantitative and qualitative results of their feedback using a 1-5 rating scale and open-ended written questions. This case was trialed with residents in their first through third years of training as well as fourth year medical students.
Feedback was very positive, with 19 residents completing the post-simulation survey. They enjoyed the case and reported they would feel more comfortable in a comparable situation in the future. Four survey questions were asked of the participants. On average, learners stated they felt the simulation improved their ability to manage a pediatric DKA patient, and their knowledge of complications and appropriate ventilator settings improved (modes of 5, 4 and 5, respectively).
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a common and critical diagnosis for emergency medicine physicians to consider in the setting of altered mental status in a pediatric patient. This simulation has multiple steps and is based on a real case of an obtunded and hypothermic pediatric patient who was ultimately diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis complicated by pneumomediastinum.
Diabetic ketoacidosis, pneumomediastinum, hypothermia, altered mental status, pediatrics, adolescent, intubation, hypoxia, ventilator settings, cardiac arrest, emergency medicine, medical simulation.