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Potassium Shift In Dka

Management Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis And Other Hyperglycemic Emergencies

Management Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis And Other Hyperglycemic Emergencies

Understand the management of patients with diabetic ketoacidosis and other hyperglycemic emergencies. ​ The acute onset of hyperglycemia with attendant metabolic derangements is a common presentation in all forms of diabetes mellitus. The most current data from the National Diabetes Surveillance Program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that during 2005-2006, at least 120,000 hospital discharges for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) occurred in the United States,(1) with an unknown number of discharges related to hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state (HHS). The clinical presentations of DKA and HHS can overlap, but they are usually separately characterized by the presence of ketoacidosis and the degree of hyperglycemia and hyperosmolarity, though HHS will occasionally have some mild degree of ketosis. DKA is defined by a plasma glucose level >250 mg/dL, arterial pH <7.3, the presence of serum ketones, a serum bicarbonate measure <18 mEq/L, and a high anion gap metabolic acidosis. The level of normal anion gap may vary slightly by individual institutional standards. The anion gap also needs to be corrected in the presence of hypoalbuminemia, a common condition in the critically ill. Adjusted anion gap = observed anion gap + 0.25 * ([normal albumin]-[observed albumin]), where the given albumin concentrations are in g/L; if given in g/dL, the correction factor is 2.5.(3) HHS is defined by a plasma glucose level >600 mg/dL, with an effective serum osmolality >320 mOsm/kg. HHS was originally named hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic coma; however, this name was changed because relatively few patients exhibit coma-like symptoms. Effective serum osmolality = 2*([Na] + [K]) + glucose (mg/dL)/18.(2) Urea is freely diffusible across cell membranes, thus it will Continue reading >>

Emergency Management Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Adults

Emergency Management Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Adults

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a potentially fatal metabolic disorder presenting most weeks in most accident and emergency (A&E) departments.1 The disorder can have significant mortality if misdiagnosed or mistreated. Numerous management strategies have been described. Our aim is to describe a regimen that is based, as far as possible, on available evidence but also on our experience in managing patients with DKA in the A&E department and on inpatient wards. A literature search was carried out on Medline and the Cochrane Databases using “diabetic ketoacidosis” as a MeSH heading and as textword. High yield journals were hand searched. Papers identified were appraised in the ways described in the Users’ guide series published in JAMA. We will not be discussing the derangements in intermediary metabolism involved, nor would we suggest extrapolating the proposed regimen to children. Although some of the issues discussed may be considered by some to be outwith the remit of A&E medicine it would seem prudent to ensure that A&E staff were aware of the probable management of such patients in the hours after they leave the A&E department. AETIOLOGY AND DEFINITION DKA may be the first presentation of diabetes. Insulin error (with or without intercurrent illness) is the most common precipitating factor, accounting for nearly two thirds of cases (excluding those where DKA was the first presentation of diabetes mellitus).2 The main features of DKA are hyperglycaemia, metabolic acidosis with a high anion gap and heavy ketonuria (box 1). This contrasts with the other hyperglycaemic diabetic emergency of hyperosmolar non-ketotic hyperglycaemia where there is no acidosis, absent or minimal ketonuria but often very high glucose levels (>33 mM) and very high serum sodium levels (>15 Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Producing Extreme Hyperkalemia In A Patient With Type 1 Diabetes On Hemodialysis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Producing Extreme Hyperkalemia In A Patient With Type 1 Diabetes On Hemodialysis

Hodaka Yamada1, Shunsuke Funazaki1, Masafumi Kakei1, Kazuo Hara1 and San-e Ishikawa2[1] Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Jichi Medical University Saitama Medical Center, Saitama, Japan [2] Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, International University of Health and Welfare Hospital, Nasushiobara, Japan Summary Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a critical complication of type 1 diabetes associated with water and electrolyte disorders. Here, we report a case of DKA with extreme hyperkalemia (9.0 mEq/L) in a patient with type 1 diabetes on hemodialysis. He had a left frontal cerebral infarction resulting in inability to manage his continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion pump. Electrocardiography showed typical changes of hyperkalemia, including absent P waves, prolonged QRS interval and tented T waves. There was no evidence of total body water deficit. After starting insulin and rapid hemodialysis, the serum potassium level was normalized. Although DKA may present with hypokalemia, rapid hemodialysis may be necessary to resolve severe hyperkalemia in a patient with renal failure. Patients with type 1 diabetes on hemodialysis may develop ketoacidosis because of discontinuation of insulin treatment. Patients on hemodialysis who develop ketoacidosis may have hyperkalemia because of anuria. Absolute insulin deficit alters potassium distribution between the intracellular and extracellular space, and anuria abolishes urinary excretion of potassium. Rapid hemodialysis along with intensive insulin therapy can improve hyperkalemia, while fluid infusions may worsen heart failure in patients with ketoacidosis who routinely require hemodialysis. Background Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a very common endocrinology emergency. It is usually associated with severe circulatory Continue reading >>

Dka/hhns

Dka/hhns

Sort Metabolic acidosis HCO3 <22 pH <7.35 paCO2 normal (uncompensated) paCO2 <35 (partially compensated) pH 7.35-7.39 (acidic normal) & paCO2 <35 (fully compensated) "If ill, take your insulin and drink clear liquids with carbohydrate." The client must be familiar with "sick day" management. He should take his insulin, check his blood glucose every 1 to 4 hr, and if unable to eat solid food, take in small frequent amounts of fluids and glucose-containing beverages. Which of the following is an appropriate client instruction regarding DKA prevention? Abdominal pain The client with HHNS would not have abdominal pain, a symptom of acidosis. Confusion from dehydration would be present, as would thirst and frequent urination. Which of the following signs and symptoms is least likely in HHNS? Metabolic acidosis secondary to breakdown of fats for energy manifested by ketosis is most likely. Rapid, deep respirations (Kussmaul's respirations) will show compensation for the acidosis as the body "blows off" carbon dioxide, a respiratory acid. What type of acid-base imbalance is likely in a client with DKA? How would the nurse recognize compensation for this acid-base disorder? Physical and/or psychological stress stimulates the sympathetic nervous system's fight or flight response. This results in an increased production of catecholamines (epinephrine and norepinephrine), which stimulate the release of cortisol. This results in glycolysis, the breakdown of glycogen into glucose. What is the relationship between stress and blood glucose levels in a client with diabetes? The nurse's first action should be to assess whether the client is adherent to the currently prescribed diet and medications. The client's current diet and medication use have not been successful in keeping glucose Continue reading >>

Episode 63 – Pediatric Dka

Episode 63 – Pediatric Dka

Pediatric DKA was identified as one of key diagnoses that we need to get better at managing in a massive national needs assessment conducted by the fine folks at TREKK – Translating Emergency Knowledge for Kids – one of EM Cases’ partners who’s mission is to improve the care of children in non-pediatric emergency departments across the country. You might be wondering – why was DKA singled out in this needs assessment? It turns out that kids who present to the ED in DKA without a known history of diabetes, can sometimes be tricky to diagnose, as they often present with vague symptoms. When a child does have a known history of diabetes, and the diagnosis of DKA is obvious, the challenge turns to managing severe, life-threatening DKA, so that we avoid the many potential complications of the DKA itself as well as the complications of treatment – cerebral edema being the big bad one. The approach to these patients has evolved over the years, even since I started practicing, from bolusing insulin and super aggressive fluid resuscitation to more gentle fluid management and delayed insulin drips, as examples. There are subtleties and controversies in the management of DKA when it comes to fluid management, correcting serum potassium and acidosis, preventing cerebral edema, as well as airway management for the really sick kids. In this episode we‘ll be asking our guest pediatric emergency medicine experts Dr. Sarah Reid, who you may remember from her powerhouse performance on our recent episodes on pediatric fever and sepsis, and Dr. Sarah Curtis, not only a pediatric emergency physician, but a prominent pediatric emergency researcher in Canada, about the key historical and examination pearls to help pick up this sometimes elusive diagnosis, what the value of serum Continue reading >>

Potassium Balance In Acid-base Disorders

Potassium Balance In Acid-base Disorders

INTRODUCTION There are important interactions between potassium and acid-base balance that involve both transcellular cation exchanges and alterations in renal function [1]. These changes are most pronounced with metabolic acidosis but can also occur with metabolic alkalosis and, to a lesser degree, respiratory acid-base disorders. INTERNAL POTASSIUM BALANCE Acid-base disturbances cause potassium to shift into and out of cells, a phenomenon called "internal potassium balance" [2]. An often-quoted study found that the plasma potassium concentration will rise by 0.6 mEq/L for every 0.1 unit reduction of the extracellular pH [3]. However, this estimate was based upon only five patients with a variety of disturbances, and the range was very broad (0.2 to 1.7 mEq/L). This variability in the rise or fall of the plasma potassium in response to changes in extracellular pH was confirmed in subsequent studies [2,4]. Metabolic acidosis — In metabolic acidosis, more than one-half of the excess hydrogen ions are buffered in the cells. In this setting, electroneutrality is maintained in part by the movement of intracellular potassium into the extracellular fluid (figure 1). Thus, metabolic acidosis results in a plasma potassium concentration that is elevated in relation to total body stores. The net effect in some cases is overt hyperkalemia; in other patients who are potassium depleted due to urinary or gastrointestinal losses, the plasma potassium concentration is normal or even reduced [5,6]. There is still a relative increase in the plasma potassium concentration, however, as evidenced by a further fall in the plasma potassium concentration if the acidemia is corrected. A fall in pH is much less likely to raise the plasma potassium concentration in patients with lactic acidosis Continue reading >>

Electrolyte And Acid–base Disturbances In Patients With Diabetes Mellitus

Electrolyte And Acid–base Disturbances In Patients With Diabetes Mellitus

Electrolyte disturbances are common in patients with diabetes mellitus. This review highlights the ways in which specific electrolytes may be influenced by the dysregulation of glucose homeostasis. Disclosure forms provided by the authors are available with the full text of this article at NEJM.org. No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported. From the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas (B.F.P.); and the Biomedical Research Department, Diabetes and Obesity Research Division, Cedars–Sinai Medical Center, Beverly Hills, CA (D.J.C.). Address reprint requests to Dr. Palmer at the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas, TX 75390, or at [email protected] Continue reading >>

Electrolyte Imbalance In Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Electrolyte Imbalance In Diabetic Ketoacidosis

If you have diabetes, it's important to be familiar with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA is a serious complication of diabetes that occurs when lack of insulin and high blood sugar lead to potentially life-threatening chemical imbalances. The good news is DKA is largely preventable. Although DKA is more common with type 1 diabetes, it can also occur with type 2 diabetes. High blood sugar causes excessive urination and spillage of sugar into the urine. This leads to loss of body water and dehydration as well as loss of important electrolytes, including sodium and potassium. The level of another electrolyte, bicarbonate, also falls as the body tries to compensate for excessively acidic blood. Video of the Day Insulin helps blood sugar move into cells, where it is used for energy production. When insulin is lacking, cells must harness alternative energy by breaking down fat. Byproducts of this alternative process are called ketones. High concentrations of ketones acidify the blood, hence the term "ketoacidosis." Acidosis causes unpleasant symptoms like nausea, vomiting and rapid breathing. Bicarbonate is an electrolyte that normally counteracts blood acidity. In DKA, the bicarbonate level falls as ketone production increases and acidosis progresses. Treatment of DKA includes prompt insulin supplementation to lower blood sugar, which leads to gradual restoration of the bicarbonate level. Potassium may be low in DKA because this electrolyte is lost due to excessive urination or vomiting. When insulin is used to treat DKA, it can further lower the blood potassium by pushing it into cells. Symptoms associated with low potassium include fatigue, muscle weakness, muscle cramps and an irregular heart rhythm. Severely low potassium can lead to life-threatening heart rhythm abnorm Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Introduction Diabetic ketocacidosis (DKA) is a medical emegency caused by insufficient levels of insulin and increased levels of counter-regulatory hormones such as glucagon, epinephrine, and cortisol. This leads to significant, potentially life-threatening metabolic abnormalities, including hyperglycemia, anion gap metabolic acidosis, hyperketonemia, ketonuria. The Case of Rachel R Rachel is a 34 year-old woman with type I diabetes. She has poor control of her sugars during the best of days, and she has not been counting her dietary intake or monitoring her blood glucose over the past two days, as she has been ill with a bad cold. She feels increasingly unwell and comes to the emergency department with nausea, vomiting, and blurred vision. What are the symptoms of DKA? How is it diagnosed? How do you treat someone like Rachel? return to top Causes and Risk Factors DKA is more common in Type 1 DM than type II, due to complete insulin deficiency and counter-regulatory hormones. It is precipitated by the 7 I’s: infection (pneumonia, UTI) insulin nonadherence/insufficiency (as can occur with pregnancy) initial presentation with DMI ischemia/infarct (myocardial, stroke, gut) inflammation (pancreatitis, cholecystitis) iatrogenic (glucocorticoids, dieuretics, surgery) intoxication (alcohol, atypical antipsychotics, cocaine) return to top Pathophysiology Insufficient insulin levels lead to a change in metabolism. An increase in fatty acid oxidation leads to ketones such as acetone, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and aceto-acetate. This, in turn, leads to an anion gap metabolic acidosis. Acidemia leads to a shift of potassium from cells into the extra-cellular space. Increased glucose production in liver leads to hyperglycemia and osmotic diuresis, with glycosuria and ketonuria. Dehyd Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a potentially life-threatening complication of diabetes mellitus.[1] Signs and symptoms may include vomiting, abdominal pain, deep gasping breathing, increased urination, weakness, confusion, and occasionally loss of consciousness.[1] A person's breath may develop a specific smell.[1] Onset of symptoms is usually rapid.[1] In some cases people may not realize they previously had diabetes.[1] DKA happens most often in those with type 1 diabetes, but can also occur in those with other types of diabetes under certain circumstances.[1] Triggers may include infection, not taking insulin correctly, stroke, and certain medications such as steroids.[1] DKA results from a shortage of insulin; in response the body switches to burning fatty acids which produces acidic ketone bodies.[3] DKA is typically diagnosed when testing finds high blood sugar, low blood pH, and ketoacids in either the blood or urine.[1] The primary treatment of DKA is with intravenous fluids and insulin.[1] Depending on the severity, insulin may be given intravenously or by injection under the skin.[3] Usually potassium is also needed to prevent the development of low blood potassium.[1] Throughout treatment blood sugar and potassium levels should be regularly checked.[1] Antibiotics may be required in those with an underlying infection.[6] In those with severely low blood pH, sodium bicarbonate may be given; however, its use is of unclear benefit and typically not recommended.[1][6] Rates of DKA vary around the world.[5] In the United Kingdom, about 4% of people with type 1 diabetes develop DKA each year, while in Malaysia the condition affects about 25% a year.[1][5] DKA was first described in 1886 and, until the introduction of insulin therapy in the 1920s, it was almost univ Continue reading >>

Diabetic Emergencies-diagnosis And Clinical Management: Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Adults, Part 2

Diabetic Emergencies-diagnosis And Clinical Management: Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Adults, Part 2

Hyperglycemia Hyperglycemia in DKA is the result of reduced glucose uptake and utilization from the liver, muscle, and fat tissue and increased gluconeogenesis as well as glycogenolysis. The lack of insulin results in an increase in gluconeogenesis, primarily in the liver but also in the kidney, and increased glycogenolysis in liver and muscle.8,9 In addition, the inhibitory effect of insulin on glucagon secretion is abolished and plasma glucagon levels increase. The increase of glucagon aggravates hyperglycemia by enhancing gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis. In parallel, the increased concentrations of the other counter-regulatory hormones enhance further gluconeogenesis. In addition to increased gluconeogenesis, in DKA there is excess production of substances which are used as a substrate for endogenous glucose production. Thus, the amino acids glutamine and alanine increase because of enhanced proteolysis and reduced protein synthesis.8,9 Hyperglycemia-induced osmotic diuresis leads to dehydration, hyperosmolality, electrolyte loss (Na+, K +, Mg 2 +, PO 4 3+, Cl−, and Ca+), and eventually decline in glomerular filtration rate. With decline in renal function, glucosuria diminishes and hyperglycemia worsens. Dehydration results in augmentation of plasma osmolality, which results in water movement out of the cells to the extracellular space. Osmotic diuresis caused by hyperglycemia results in loss of sodium in urine; in addition, the excess of glucagon aggravates hyponatremia because it inhibits reabsorption of sodium in the kidneys. With impaired insulin action and hyperosmolality, utilization of potassium by skeletal muscles is markedly decreased leading to intracellular potassium deficiency. Potassium is also lost due to osmotic diuresis. In addition, metabolic ac Continue reading >>

Pem Pearls: Treatment Of Pediatric Diabetic Ketoacidosis And The Two-bag Method

Pem Pearls: Treatment Of Pediatric Diabetic Ketoacidosis And The Two-bag Method

Insulin does MANY things in the body, but the role we care about in the Emergency Department is glucose regulation. Insulin allows cells to take up glucose from the blood stream, inhibits liver glucose production, increases glycogen storage, and increases lipid production. When insulin is not present, such as in patients with Type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM), all of the opposite effects occur. A lack of insulin causes the following downstream effects: Prevents glucose from being used as an energy source – Free fatty acids are used instead and produce ketoacids during metabolism. Causes a surge of stress hormones and induces gluconeogenesis – When blood glucose levels are elevated, the kidneys cannot absorb all of the glucose from the urine, and the extra glucose in the urine causes polyuria, even in the setting of dehydration. In addition, acidosis causes potassium to shift out of cells into the blood, and the combination of this with dehydration causes the body to preferentially retain sodium at the expense of potassium.1,2 When insulin homeostasis is disrupted and decompensates, patients are at risk for developing diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). All of the following criteria are required for a diagnosis of DKA: Hyperglycemia (glucose >200 mg/dL) Acidosis (pH <7.3 or bicarb <15 mmol/L) Ketosis (by urine or blood test) Treatment is based on a simple principle: return the body’s glucose regulation to its normal state and replace all of the things the body consumed while insulin-deficient. While bolus insulin is common in the treatment of DKA in adults, it is relatively contraindicated in the pediatric patient. Dehydration and secondary sympathetic activation can interfere with local tissue perfusion and may cause irregular and unpredictable absorption. Step 1: Correction Continue reading >>

Osmotic Diuresis

Osmotic Diuresis

Reduction of Glomerular Filtration Rate Osmotic diuresis, additional losses such as via vomiting, and decreased water intake contribute to progressive dehydration, hypovolemia, and ultimately a reduction in the GFR as the syndrome progresses. Severe hyperglycemia can occur only in the presence of reduced GFR, because there is no maximum rate of glucose loss via the kidney.19,20 That is, all glucose that enters the kidney in excess of the renal threshold will be excreted in the urine. An inverse correlation exists between GFR and serum glucose in diabetic humans.19 Reductions in GFR increase the magnitude of hyperglycemia, which exacerbates glucosuria and osmotic diuresis. Human HHS survivors have also shown a reduced thirst response to rising vasopressin levels, which may also contribute to dehydration21 and decreased GFR. Reduction of Glomerular Filtration Rate Osmotic diuresis, additional losses such as via vomiting, and decreased water intake contribute to progressive dehydration, hypovolemia, and ultimately a reduction in the GFR as the syndrome progresses. Severe hyperglycemia can occur only in the presence of reduced GFR, because there is no maximum rate of glucose loss via the kidney.15,16 That is, all glucose that enters the kidney in excess of the renal threshold will be excreted in the urine. An inverse correlation exists between GFR and serum glucose in diabetic humans.15 Reductions in GFR increase the magnitude of hyperglycemia, which exacerbates glucosuria and osmotic diuresis. Human HHS survivors have also shown a reduced thirst response to rising vasopressin levels, which may also contribute to dehydration17 and decreased GFR. Magnesium The osmotic diuresis of DKA may cause significant urinary losses of magnesium and the development of hypomagnesemia (ser Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis - Symptoms

Diabetic Ketoacidosis - Symptoms

A A A Diabetic Ketoacidosis Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) results from dehydration during a state of relative insulin deficiency, associated with high blood levels of sugar level and organic acids called ketones. Diabetic ketoacidosis is associated with significant disturbances of the body's chemistry, which resolve with proper therapy. Diabetic ketoacidosis usually occurs in people with type 1 (juvenile) diabetes mellitus (T1DM), but diabetic ketoacidosis can develop in any person with diabetes. Since type 1 diabetes typically starts before age 25 years, diabetic ketoacidosis is most common in this age group, but it may occur at any age. Males and females are equally affected. Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when a person with diabetes becomes dehydrated. As the body produces a stress response, hormones (unopposed by insulin due to the insulin deficiency) begin to break down muscle, fat, and liver cells into glucose (sugar) and fatty acids for use as fuel. These hormones include glucagon, growth hormone, and adrenaline. These fatty acids are converted to ketones by a process called oxidation. The body consumes its own muscle, fat, and liver cells for fuel. In diabetic ketoacidosis, the body shifts from its normal fed metabolism (using carbohydrates for fuel) to a fasting state (using fat for fuel). The resulting increase in blood sugar occurs, because insulin is unavailable to transport sugar into cells for future use. As blood sugar levels rise, the kidneys cannot retain the extra sugar, which is dumped into the urine, thereby increasing urination and causing dehydration. Commonly, about 10% of total body fluids are lost as the patient slips into diabetic ketoacidosis. Significant loss of potassium and other salts in the excessive urination is also common. The most common Continue reading >>

How Iv Insulin Can Kill Your Patient

How Iv Insulin Can Kill Your Patient

You have a patient that comes up to your unit with a blood sugar of 952. The labs are sent off and the patient is found to be in severe diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). The doctor puts in the orders for serial lab work, fluid boluses, electrolyte replacements, and an insulin drip. As a newer nurse, you are familiar with labs, boluses, your replacement protocols, but have never administered insulin through an IV. What nursing interventions do you need to perform to safely care for this patient? How Does Insulin Work? Insulin is a hormone created by the pancreas. It allows your body to use glucose to provide the body's cells with the necessary energy they need. Insulin production from the pancreas is based off of your blood sugar levels. If you are getting hyperglycemic, the pancreas is signaled and insulin is released into the bloodstream. Insulin then signals different cells to absorb the glucose and use it as energy or store it for later use. When insulin facilitates glucose being pulled into a cell, a potassium cation is also pulled from extracellular fluid (meaning the bloodstream) into the intracellular fluid. How does this affect our patients? Initially, patients in DKA have an increased extracellular potassium level due to the hyperglycemia and acidosis they are experiencing. This potassium level is quickly decreased as blood glucose is pulled into the cells. Administration As with all critical care medications, be sure to check your hospital's policy for administration. I have seen two main situations in which IV insulin (meaning regular insulin, not Lantus, Aspart, etc.) is given. Treatment of DKA: It seems like each hospital has a different protocol they use to manage DKA patients with. Commonly patients are treated with a bolus of regular insulin IV and then place Continue reading >>

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