Oral Presentation Australian Diabetes Society and the Australian Diabetes Educators Association Annual Scientific Meeting 2016

Driving and Diabetes (#50)

Stephen M. Twigg 1 2
  1. Charles Perkins Centre and Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  2. Endocrinology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Driving is a privilege rather than a right and many factors contribute to safety on the road. Amongst these is driver health. Driving and diabetes commonly elicits feelings of unease and challenge in the health care professional and despite best efforts, it can create an adversarial situation with the patient. The wants of the young person with type 1 diabetes need to be balanced with minimising risks for the driver, their passengers, and others who use public thoroughfares in sites of driving. The single main risk is the development of severe hypoglycaemia whilst driving, and related vehicle crash and personal injury. It is notable that few nations have requirements for driving and diabetes, and international requirements differ in significant details amongst countries. The Australian Assessing Fitness to Drive document indicates domestic medical standards required in diabetes mellitus. Key factors to consider in assessing fitness to drive include any history of severe hypoglycaemia, reduced hypoglycaemia awareness, previous crash due to hypoglycaemia, and patient self-care reliability including glucose monitoring to be ‘above 5 to drive’. Chronic end-organ complications also require assessment. To support the health care professional in this topic this presentation will address fundamental and more controversial aspects of the diabetes driving medical standards in recent years, the published evidence base supporting care in diabetes and driving, relevant coroner’s case series as well as other case studies with better outcomes, plus NDSS supported patient and health care professional documents to aid in driving and diabetes. Through this presentation it is planned that the health care professional will be provided with a balanced perspective and priority setting approach in assessing and supporting people, including younger people with type 1 diabetes, to safely enjoy driving.