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What Is Ketoacidosis And What Are The Symptoms

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Diabetes: What Is Ketoacidosis And How Can Be Avoided & Treated?

Good question! According to Wikipedia: Diabetic ketoacidosis is a potentially life-threatening complication in patients with diabetes mellitus. In order to define ketoacidosis a little better, let's go back to the source: diabetes. Someone who is diabetic is unable to produce insulin, a hormone necessary for the transfer of sugar from the bloodstream to the cells, which in turn produce energy. If this progression is disrupted, through lack of insulin for example, the body has to try to compensate by creating energy elsewhere. And so the body starts to burn fat and muscle to meet its energy needs. Unfortunately, this chemical reaction produces molecules known as ketone bodies. In small quantities, these are fine, and it is in fact normal to have traces of them in your blood (approximately 1mg/dl). However, if the quantity of ketones surpasses this threshold by too much, it starts to affect the pH of your blood (which becomes progressively more acidic). Even the slightest drop in pH can have dangerous effects: as the quantity of the ketones in your blood increases, and the blood pH diminishes, your kidneys start having problems. Eventually, if the ketoacidosis is left untreated, your Continue reading >>

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  1. James Pearson

    We get few actual fake calls, most are at least made with good intentions, even if they don’t really require an ambulance. When it comes to a fake call, drunk-abetics can be annoying.
    A drunk driver gets pulled over by the cops, he staggers out of his car, fails a field sobriety test, then tells the officer, “I’m not drunk, I’m diabetic, and my sugar is too high, I was going home to get my insulin”. The symptoms of hyperglycemia are similar to being drunk, including ketoacidosis, which causes a smell similar to alcohol on a person’s breath.
    So, we get dragged out of bed at 0200 (if we’re lucky enough to be in bed) to check a person’s blood sugar with a glucometer, and tell the cops that whatever is going on with their prisoner, it isn’t related to blood glucose levels.
    Another similar call is the stainless steel induced myocardial infarction (SSIMI). That’s when the application of handcuffs causes the patient to experience rapid onset chest pain and shortness of breath, which they are sure is an impending heart attack, meaning they should bypass the jail and go to the ER.
    Given a choice of ER or jail, the patient will usually beat the EMTs into the ambulance. Some of them, knowing that they will go to jail as soon as the ER clears them will decide to just go with the cops and get it over with. A very few actually end up admitted to the hospital for a genuine medical problem.

    Let me also add: This isn’t meant as any slam against diabetics, only those pretenders trying to avoid consequences. If someone is diabetic, and appears drunk, it’s a serious medical emergency. Do not assume anything, get help.

  2. David Wayne

    Chest pains from an “arguement”. Usually the patient is young (20s) with no medical history, they just want to get away from the arguement. Which I understand getting away to let things cool down, but an ambulance ride to the hospital is a bit much.

  3. Scarlett DéLìon

    This isn’t actually a fake call so much as one of the weirdest calls I have ever gone on. Recently we had been paged for a female patient with abdominal pain, she was also in that age range where there was a possibility of pregnancy.
    We get to the house and I walk in, announce “Ambulance.” and….. nothing…. no reply, no moaning, no groaning, nothing. I start to search the house, going to the living room from the kitchen (came in through the garage) and no one in the living room…. strange… but then again could be in the bedroom. Knock on the first bedroom door and nothing. No one. Still no sound. Go to the next room and same thing. Eventually me and my trainee have checked all rooms in the place and theres literally no one there but us.
    At this point I’m concerned, we get in contact with dispatch and they say that there was no vehicle at the location; which is why the patient called 911.

    Eventually we give up the search and return to station. I check facebook and look up the person that called. It’s a legit person, but they’ve been posting for the past hour or two, I never messaged them but it was somewhat annoying that they never even tried to make contact with 911 again after saying “hey I got a ride” or something.

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