Preparation is key to making sure your hospital visit goes as
smoothly as possible. If your stay is planned, your healthcare team
should have helped you prepare in advance but you may find it
useful to ask the following additional questions to make sure you
have all bases covered. The more prepared you are the more
confident you will feel.
Useful questions to ask and
Will I need to stop any medications prior to
Some medications such as Metformin, Jardiance or Forxiga may
need to be stopped prior to hospital admission.
Do I need to adjust my insulin doses (particularly if
You may need to take a reduced insulin dose or no insulin if
you are going to be fasting. This will depend on the type of
insulin being taken and the procedure being carried out.
Should I bring my diabetes medications with me to the
By bringing your medications / medication list to hospital
your treating team can be fully informed on the medications you are
taking. Usually at a pre admission appointment you will receive
full instructions regarding any medications you take for diabetes.
Remember to take a list of all of your medications including any
vitamins, herbal medications and over the counter medications you
may be taking.
Will I be able to do my own insulin
Some hospitals have strict policies regarding patients
administering their own insulin in hospital. In some instances a
diabetes educator may be called in to assess your insulin injection
technique before you are cleared to do your own injections. Mostly
hospitals will use their own supplies of insulin and diabetes
tablets. Insulin is typically drawn up into a syringe unless safety
needles are available for nursing staff to use.
Will I be able to stay on my insulin pump?
Sometimes you may be required to come off your insulin pump
and your insulin needs will be taken care of by the hospital team
via an intravenous drip. Check with your hospital as procedures
regarding pumps vary between hospitals. If you are going to be
using your pump in hospital it is a good idea to do a set change
before admission. It is important however that you take all of your
pump supplies, batteries and a list of your pump settings with you
Should I be checking my blood glucose levels more often
on the lead up to my hospital stay?
You may be required to monitor your blood glucose more
frequently leading up to a hospital stay as the medical team will
generally want to be diabetes to be well managed prior to admission
to reduce the risk of infections and slow wound healing.
How should I manage a hypo if I am fasting? Should I
call the admissions team If I have a hypo during my fasting
Even if you are fasting you will need to treat a hypo which
may occur. Check with your team if they have a preferred treatment
method such as a fluid such as apple juice. Generally the team will
need to be informed of any hypo treatment you have taken as this
may mean your surgery may need to be slightly delayed.
If you have further questions on this topic you may call
the NDSS helpline on 1300 136 588 and ask to speak with a diabetes