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First Aid: Diabetic Management

Participants that attend first aid training will learn to manage several different emergency scenarios. One of the most difficult emergencies to recognize is that of diabetic emergencies which have patients fall into two categories. Patients can either have too little sugar (hypoglycaemia) in the system or not be able to process it (hyperglycaemia). This article will go into detail about patients with diabetes and what can result from diabetic emergencies.

Bodies require insulin as it is a hormone that transports sugar from the body’s bloodstream throughout the body’s cells where is it required. Unfortunately, individuals with diabetes need to monitor their nutrition and daily activities and those that are deemed insulin-dependent diabetics require to further monitor their insulin levels in addition to diet and exercise. However, when these factors are not carefully monitored and handled, the body may, as a result, have too much or too little sugar. Having too much or too little sugar may cause a diabetic emergency. The condition known as hyperglycemia results in the body has too much sugar in the individual’s blood stream because their insulin is too low. If the body is devoid of insulin the body cannot receive the sugar it requires even if the individual has the sugar in their stomach. In order to receive the proper nutrition the body needs, it will then break down other food sources that the sugar cannot provide. The body may get ill as waste products of other sources continue to stockpile in their body. Serious forms of this condition is referred to as a diabetic coma. The condition known as hypoglycaemia is a result of lack of sugar in the blood. This is the opposite of hyperglycemia as the body does not have enough sugar in the blood because the body’s insulin level is too high. Whatever trace amount of sugar is present is quickly used up. This condition may result in an acute condition referred to as insulin shock. If you encounter an emergency with a person suffering from diabeties, you do not need to know if they need care for high sugar or low sugar levels as the care you will provide is the same for both cases. You will be required to first treat any life-treathening conditions you first experience. If the individual is coherent to swallow then give them fruit juice, cand or non-diet soft drink. If they are unconscious then do not give sugar and call EMS immediately. Unless a trained professional has instructed to do so, do not administer any insulin as only they are able to determine what amount is required and if the situation deems it necessary.

To learn more about diabetes and diabetic emergencies talk to a medical professional or learn to recognize and treat them by taking a first aid course through St Mark James.

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