Can Ketoacidosis Kill You

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Diabetic Ketoacidosis

A Preventable Crisis People who have had diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA, will tell you it’s worse than any flu they’ve ever had, describing an overwhelming feeling of lethargy, unquenchable thirst, and unrelenting vomiting. “It’s sort of like having molasses for blood,” says George. “Everything moves so slow, the mouth can feel so dry, and there is a cloud over your head. Just before diagnosis, when I was in high school, I would get out of a class and go to the bathroom to pee for about 10–12 minutes. Then I would head to the water fountain and begin drinking water for minutes at a time, usually until well after the next class had begun.” George, generally an upbeat person, said that while he has experienced varying degrees of DKA in his 40 years or so of having diabetes, “…at its worst, there is one reprieve from its ill feeling: Unfortunately, that is a coma.” But DKA can be more than a feeling of extreme discomfort, and it can result in more than a coma. “It has the potential to kill,” says Richard Hellman, MD, past president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. “DKA is a medical emergency. It’s the biggest medical emergency rela Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. TheCommuter

    You can post this question on this site's Nursing Student Assistance Forums and perhaps get an answer. One of our frequent users, Daytonite, loves to give detailed answers to these types of questions.

  2. ICRN2008

    Here is the formula for anion gap:
    Agap = Na + K - Cl -CO2
    I would think that the doctor would be monitoring the glucose level (not the agap) to determine when to stop the insulin drip. Anyone else have an idea?

  3. P_RN

    One of our wonderful members Mark Hammerschmidt has a great FREE MICU site:
    Check section 4.2
    It's all acidosis/alkalosis

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