What is included in the prehospital care of acute hypoglycemia?

Updated: Dec 16, 2016
  • Author: Frank C Smeeks, III, MD; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Emergency medical services (EMS) care generally consists of drawing serum glucose or Accucheck prior to administering dextrose 50% in water (D50) in the field. This procedure usually is performed in the case of an unconscious patient or a patient with altered mental status.

Many advanced cardiac life support (ACLS)-trained and first responders are able to perform simple bedside glucose testing. This procedure should be part of the normal protocol for any EMS unit.

When hypoglycemia is found and treated in the diabetic patient, the patient may awaken and not desire transport. In view of the multiple causes of a sudden episode of hypoglycemia in a patient with previously well-controlled diabetes, it is prudent to advise transport and emergency department (ED) evaluation. [9, 10]


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