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Can Ketoacidosis Cause A Heart Attack

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Diabetic Ketoacidosis

The Facts Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a condition that may occur in people who have diabetes, most often in those who have type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes. It involves the buildup of toxic substances called ketones that make the blood too acidic. High ketone levels can be readily managed, but if they aren't detected and treated in time, a person can eventually slip into a fatal coma. DKA can occur in people who are newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and have had ketones building up in their blood prior to the start of treatment. It can also occur in people already diagnosed with type 1 diabetes that have missed an insulin dose, have an infection, or have suffered a traumatic event or injury. Although much less common, DKA can occasionally occur in people with type 2 diabetes under extreme physiologic stress. Causes With type 1 diabetes, the pancreas is unable to make the hormone insulin, which the body's cells need in order to take in glucose from the blood. In the case of type 2 diabetes, the pancreas is unable to make sufficient amounts of insulin in order to take in glucose from the blood. Glucose, a simple sugar we get from the foods we eat, is necessary for making the Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  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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