Hyperglycemic Crisis

Ronald Van Ness-Otunnu, MD, MS; Jason B. Hack, MD, FACEP


J Emerg Med. 2013;45(5):797-805. 

In This Article


Hyperglycemic crisis demands early recognition and prompt initiation of treatment with reassessments and adjustments of the care plan as needed to reduce morbidity and mortality. Although insufficient exogenous insulin and infection are common precipitants, an appreciation of the range of possible causes and sequelae can help avoid missed diagnoses. Emergency physicians should be facile in managing this physiologically complex disease because they more often identify and treat the critical early stages before specialists contribute to patient care. An organized approach to correcting hyperglycemia, fluid balance, electrolyte abnormalities, and normalizing acid-base status favors improved outcomes.