FAQ - diabetic ketoacidosis
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Diabetic ketoacidosis prehospital care?

How would an EMT, not a paramedic, deal with a person in diabetic ketoacidosis? What kind of treatment would you use and what would their vital signs typically be? I am looking for a specific range of heart rate, blood pressure, etc. Not just tachycardia, tachypnea, etc.
Have you ever come across a patient with DKA? What did they look like, how did they act? Any other info you have would be great.


The signs and symptoms of DKA are vomitting, abdominal pain, and Kussmaul resperations (deep and rapid). I'm sure you know this already if you asked the question, but basically DKA is a lack of insulin in the body resulting in your body burning fats instead of the glucose. Unfortunately when this fat is burned, it creates ketones and fatty acids as a waste product. In higher amounts, these ketones and acids can cause a dangerous condition called acidosis. This acidosis will start to affect the individual cells in your body causing them to stop functioning. This will soon lead to unconsciousness, diabetic coma, and eventually death. For the EMT, there isn't much you can do, because the way to reverse this is to restore the insulin so your body can use the glucose it needs. If the paramedic allows you(some do if they like you), he/she will let you use the glucometer. Other than that all you can do is make them comfortable, give them oxygen, and get them to the hospital fast. As for the blood pressure and pulse I'm not sure, sorry. However the patients skin will be warm and dry. They will have a fruity smell to their breath due to the hyperglycemia. Tachycardia(not sure about the range) but remember that tachy is over 100. The blood pressure should be about normal or slightly low depending on how serious the DKA is. I've had one patient with this so far, and they exhibited most of these signs and symptoms. Hope this helps!  (+ info)

Can septic abortion precipitate diabetic ketoacidosis ?


Any sepsis would make managing Type 1 diabetes difficult. If the patient did not have guidance, then they could easily slip into DKA.  (+ info)

What is Diabetic Ketoacidosis?

I want to go into the medical field when I'm older, and so whenever i hear some medical thing, i want to know what it is. I've done a little research on DKA, but i want to know from someone who's had it, what REALLY happens. not just what it is, but what you feel and that sort of things. What kind of tests do they do and who does them? Also, if any of you know any good medical sites that i could check out, sould youlet me know? Thanks!
Cammie, i know that alot of people do ask questions that people could jut look up, but as i said, i did look it up. I found alot of stuff about it, i just wanted to know from people that have had it what it is really like from their point of view. That's all.

i was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes last year and i went into severe DKA and was in the hospital (icu for two days) for a total of 3 days.
basically DKA happens when your blood sugar is high enough for long enough that your body is way way overcompensating for its lack of insulin (and lack of anyway to convert the sugar into energy) that it starts spitting out acids that eat your fat and your muscle.
for me, it all happened fairly quickly. even though i had had high blood sugar for at least 3 or so months, i didnt start having noticable symptoms until the a month before i was actually diagnosed.

basically it felt like this: i always had to pee and the thirst factor was unbearable. i could drink like a huge thing of water, gatorade, milk, etc and still feel like my mouth was pure cotton. i also had a hard time breathing. it was as if i had just run a marathon if i would just walk somewhere. i was SUPER hungry but hardly ate because my food all tasted somewhat like metal. when i was finally taken to the hospital and diagnosed i had lost around 30 lbs. i am a fairly small framed girl (on average i weigh between 125 and 130 lbs) and at the end i was around 98.

as far as my diagnosis, they did a blood test where they just drew blood (just like a normal blood draw) and sent the blood in to a lab for results. my blood sugar came back at almost 800 and my dehydration was almost life threatening as well as the low amount of potassium in my body. when i went to the hospital they did lots of blood tests, they also gave me potassium pills and had me on an insulin drip overnight while i was in icu just to get my blood sugar down. hope that helps a little. theres tons of sites on this stuff....just google it.  (+ info)

Diabetic Ketoacidosis prehospital care?

How would an EMT, not a paramedic, deal with a person in diabetic ketoacidosis? What kind of treatment would you use and what would their vital signs typically be? I am looking for a specific range of heart rate, blood pressure, etc. Not just tachycardia, tachypnea, etc.
Have you ever come across a patient with DKA? What did they look like, how did they act? Any other info you have would be great.


Holly is right on  (+ info)

What is the pattern of behaviour known as when a diabetic patient swings between having ketoacidosis and hypos

The correct term is Brittle diabetes. A term used when a person's blood glucose (sugar) level often swings quickly from high to low and from low to high.
Hope that helps. For further information just google " brittle diabetes"  (+ info)

Diabetic ketoacidosis and insulin/glucose infusion?

Why would you include glucose in an infusion of insulin to treat a child with diabetic ketoacidosis?

Insulin, so that your body takes the sugar floating around your body. If you don't give insulin and your into state of diabetic ketoacidosis, your body will go crazy, your body will metabolize fats (ketones is the by product or end product, i forgot, of fat metabolism) It will keep metabolizing fats because your body thinks that you need glucose because glucose cannot go inside your cell because there are no insulin in your body. Lets say your the glucose and your house is the cell, your door is locked, you cannot get in unless you have your key. Insulin acts like a door key. They also give insulin to treat the underlying disease which is diabetes. also, as the other guy said health care professional dont like to over correct it cuz you might get a low blood sugar  (+ info)

why is it that Hyperglycemic,hyperosmolar,nonketotic coma is more dangerous than Diabetic Ketoacidosis ?

why it is potentially deadly???

It's harder to treat.  (+ info)

Diabetic Ketoacidosis help pleasse ?

Ok so if you go to the doctor and find out that you have diabetic ketoacidosis (do not already have type 1 or two diabetes) that means you have diabetes right...?? and you will have to take insulin or is ketoacidosis a whole other disease of it' own PLEASE HELPPP

A person with diabetes has problems controlling their blood sugar levels. If it goes unchecked long enough, glucose builds up in the blood stream because it isn't being converted to be used for energy. This makes the body work harder to get rid of it. People will usually become really tired and sick as the body tries to figure out what to do with the excess blood sugar. Your body will try to get rid of it by flushing it out.This makes someone become extremely thirsty so that the kidneys can process the sugar and expel it through urine. High blood sugars also damage organs such as the kidneys, eyes, and heart. If it continues, people can go into something calle Diabetic Ketoacidosis. This is when the body, in a desperate attempt to get energy and lower blood sugar levels, starts burning the proteins in the muscles and fat reserves. This is where the sudden weight change comes in. As the body burns the proteins, known as Ketones, for energy, it gets flushed out in the urine. Ketones can build up in the blood stream, changing the pH level of the blood, making it too acidic for the body. If the blood sugar doesn't come down immediately after this begins to happen, a person can become unconscious, go into a diabetic coma, and die. This is why it is very important for diabetics to monitor their blood sugar levels.

Insulin will probably be used to bring down glucose levels quickly, but that doesn't mean that you will necessarily be dependent on the insulin later (assuming you aren't type 1). I wasn't diagnosed with diabetes until after I had gone through ketoacidosis as well. Ketoacidosis is a serious condition, but can be treated. Since you had sugars high enough to go into diabetic ketoacidosis, then chances are you're diabetic, although some medicationsfor other conditions can cause high blood sugar, but may go away when you stop taking the medication.
If you're a type 2, you don't have to be on insulin or a glucophage to control it. I was for awhile, but following my doctors advice and sticking to my diet and exercise routine (cheating sometimes, of course ;) ) I don't take insulin or metformin anymore. There is hope! But everyone is different, so listen to your doctor, and feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions :) Hope this helped and get better NOW! (soon isn't soon enough :P)  (+ info)

Diabetic ketoacidosis plus hepatitis C coma plus hypertension : treatment ?

what kind of i.v. fluids you are supposed to use for such pt.

Treatrment? Forget it - plan the wake.  (+ info)

Type 1 diabetic in ketoacidosis, which explains the high blood glucose?

blood lactate low
muscles using to much glucose
too active liver fructose
cortisol levels depressed
liver glycogen phoshorylase inhibited

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body's own immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas (called beta cells).
Normally, the body's immune system fights off foreign invaders like viruses or bacteria. But for unknown reasons, in people with type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks various cells in the body. This results in a complete deficiency of the insulin hormone.
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=42943  (+ info)

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