Before insulin was discovered and successfully prepared commercially, a diabetic coma was viewed as one of the most hopeless catastrophes in medicine. Insulin proved to be a gamechanger in the treatment of this disease.
If a patient is hyperglycemic, they may need:
- intravenous fluids to restore water to the tissues
- potassium, sodium, or phosphate supplements to help cells function properly
- insulin to help tissues absorb the glucose in the blood
A study published in 1974 had 38 patients in a diabetic coma from four different centers. These patients were given continuous low-dose insulin at an average dose of 7·2 IU/hr. All patients recovered rapidly except for one who died. Plasma glucose fell 58% four hours after insulin began to be delivered.
In the case of hypoglycemic patients, a glucagon injection to quickly elevate blood sugar may be given. Doctors may also give dextrose intravenously to raise blood glucose levels.
The high prevalence of diabetes worldwide makes it paramount to address this disease and its complications. The severe and life-threatening complication of a diabetic coma is a condition that leaves a person with high blood sugar or low blood sugar unconscious and unresponsive.
There are symptoms of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia that a diabetic person must be aware of in order to avoid falling into a diabetic coma. An emergency medical treatment will likely be required if a person goes into a coma. Intravenous fluids, supplements, and insulin may have to be administered to wake them from this unfortunate condition.
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