For children with Type 1 diabetes, the risk of experiencing a severe hypoglycemic episode is especially common--and for parents, the threat of that happening in the middle of the night is especially frightening. Sudden and critical drops in blood sugar can go undetected overnight when the child is asleep, resulting in coma and death--an event known as "dead in bed syndrome." "A parent can check their child's glucose levels right before they go to bed and everything looks fine, then around 2 a.m. their blood sugar is dangerously low -- near comatose level," said Matthew Webber (photo), PhD, Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Webber has listened to parents of diabetic children describe the fear of such an episode--waking up several times a night to check glucose levels and the panic of emergency situations and rushing children to the hospital in the middle of the night.
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