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Why Is Dka An Emergency

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 >>

What Is A Dka Disease?

What Is A Dka Disease?

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a life-threatening condition that develops when cells in the body are unable to get the sugar (glucose) they need for energy because there is not enough insulin. When the sugar cannot get into the cells, it stays in the blood. The kidneys filter some of the sugar from the blood and remove it from the body through urine. Because the cells cannot receive sugar for energy, the body begins to break down fat and muscle for energy. When this happens, ketones, or fatty acids, are produced and enter the bloodstream, causing the chemical imbalance (metabolic acidosis) called diabetic ketoacidosis. What causes DKA? Ketoacidosis can be caused by not getting enough insulin, having a severe infection or other illness, becoming severely dehydrated, or some combination of these things. It can occur in people who have little or no insulin in their bodies (mostly people with type 1 diabetes but it can happen with type 2 diabetes, especially children) when their blood sugar levels are high. What are the symptoms? Your blood sugar may be quite high before you notice symptoms, which include: Flushed, hot, dry skin. Blurred vision. Feeling thirsty and urinating a lot. Drowsiness or difficulty waking up. Young children may lack interest in their normal activities. Rapid, deep breathing. A strong, fruity breath odor. Loss of appetite, belly pain, and vomiting. Confusion. Continue reading >>

Assessing Diabetic Ketoacidosis In The Emergency Department

Assessing Diabetic Ketoacidosis In The Emergency Department

When hyperglycemic patients present to the emergency department, it is common practice to evaluate them for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) using both venous blood gas (VBG) and serum chemistry results. Within the past several years, however, many labs have implemented blood gas analyzers that report not only standard VBG measurements but also electrolyte results typically provided through serum chemistry panels. This prompted researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) to evaluate the performance of VBG electrolytes in comparison to standard serum chemistry results. Their findings are the subject of this issue of Strategies. Amidst the rising tide of diabetes and diabetic complications, emergency physicians typically assess hyperglycemic patients for DKA when their triage blood glucose is ≥250 mg/dL, regardless of the purpose for their visit. American Diabetes Association (ADA) criteria for DKA include serum glucose ≥250 mg/dL, serum anion gap >10 mEq/L, bicarbonate ≤18 mEq/L, serum pH ≤7.30, and presence of ketosis. In the past, measuring these parameters required both venous blood gas and serum chemistry results. Today, many labs have implemented blood gas analyzers that report not only standard VBG measurements such as serum pH and bicarbonate, but also analytes like sodium, potassium, and glucose. Having observed that these parameters were available via VBG, USC researchers sought to evaluate their performance in comparison to standard serum chemistry results with the idea that if the methods were comparable they might be able to use only the VBG results (Acad Emerg Med 2011;18:1105-8). “The emergency environment is very challenging due to crowding, so we’re constantly looking for processes that improve our throughput. One doesn’t think of Continue reading >>

Management Of Adult Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Management Of Adult Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Go to: Abstract Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a rare yet potentially fatal hyperglycemic crisis that can occur in patients with both type 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus. Due to its increasing incidence and economic impact related to the treatment and associated morbidity, effective management and prevention is key. Elements of management include making the appropriate diagnosis using current laboratory tools and clinical criteria and coordinating fluid resuscitation, insulin therapy, and electrolyte replacement through feedback obtained from timely patient monitoring and knowledge of resolution criteria. In addition, awareness of special populations such as patients with renal disease presenting with DKA is important. During the DKA therapy, complications may arise and appropriate strategies to prevent these complications are required. DKA prevention strategies including patient and provider education are important. This review aims to provide a brief overview of DKA from its pathophysiology to clinical presentation with in depth focus on up-to-date therapeutic management. Keywords: DKA treatment, insulin, prevention, ESKD Go to: Introduction In 2009, there were 140,000 hospitalizations for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) with an average length of stay of 3.4 days.1 The direct and indirect annual cost of DKA hospitalizations is 2.4 billion US dollars. Omission of insulin is the most common precipitant of DKA.2,3 Infections, acute medical illnesses involving the cardiovascular system (myocardial infarction, stroke) and gastrointestinal tract (bleeding, pancreatitis), diseases of the endocrine axis (acromegaly, Cushing’s syndrome), and stress of recent surgical procedures can contribute to the development of DKA by causing dehydration, increase in insulin counter-regulatory hor Continue reading >>

Diagnostic Accuracy Of Point-of-care Testing For Diabetic Ketoacidosis At Emergency-department Triage

Diagnostic Accuracy Of Point-of-care Testing For Diabetic Ketoacidosis At Emergency-department Triage

OBJECTIVE In the emergency department, hyperglycemic patients are screened for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) via a urine dipstick. In this prospective study, we compared the test characteristics of point-of-care β-hydroxybutyrate (β-OHB) analysis with the urine dipstick. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Emergency-department patients with blood glucose ≥250 mg/dL had urine dipstick, chemistry panel, venous blood gas, and capillary β-OHB measurements. DKA was diagnosed according to American Diabetes Association criteria. RESULTS Of 516 hyperglycemic subjects, 54 had DKA. The urine dipstick had a sensitivity of 98.1% (95% CI 90.1–100), a specificity of 35.1% (30.7–39.6), a positive predictive value of 15% (11.5–19.2), and a negative predictive value of 99.4% (96.6–100) for DKA. Using the manufacturer-suggested cutoff of >1.5 mmol/L, β-OHB had a sensitivity of 98.1% (90.1–100), a specificity of 78.6% (74.5–82.2), a positive predictive value of 34.9% (27.3–43), and a negative predictive value of 99.7% (98.5–100) for DKA. CONCLUSIONS Point-of-care β-OHB and the urine dipstick are equally sensitive for detecting DKA (98.1%). However, β-OHB is more specific (78.6 vs. 35.1%), offering the potential to significantly reduce unnecessary DKA work-ups among hyperglycemic patients in the emergency department. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS This prospective, observational study was conducted at a large, urban emergency department. Institutional review board approval was obtained, and study participants provided written informed consent. The cohort studied represents a convenience sample of emergency-department patients with triage capillary blood glucose ≥250 mg/dL enrolled on 320 individual days over a 2-year period based on research-assistant availability. Subjects we Continue reading >>

Emergency Management Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Adults

Emergency Management Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Adults

Selected References These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article. Articles from Emergency Medicine Journal : EMJ are provided here courtesy of BMJ Publishing Group Continue reading >>

Management Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Management Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis is an emergency medical condition that can be life-threatening if not treated properly. The incidence of this condition may be increasing, and a 1 to 2 percent mortality rate has stubbornly persisted since the 1970s. Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs most often in patients with type 1 diabetes (formerly called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus); however, its occurrence in patients with type 2 diabetes (formerly called non–insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus), particularly obese black patients, is not as rare as was once thought. The management of patients with diabetic ketoacidosis includes obtaining a thorough but rapid history and performing a physical examination in an attempt to identify possible precipitating factors. The major treatment of this condition is initial rehydration (using isotonic saline) with subsequent potassium replacement and low-dose insulin therapy. The use of bicarbonate is not recommended in most patients. Cerebral edema, one of the most dire complications of diabetic ketoacidosis, occurs more commonly in children and adolescents than in adults. Continuous follow-up of patients using treatment algorithms and flow sheets can help to minimize adverse outcomes. Preventive measures include patient education and instructions for the patient to contact the physician early during an illness. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a triad of hyperglycemia, ketonemia and acidemia, each of which may be caused by other conditions (Figure 1).1 Although diabetic ketoacidosis most often occurs in patients with type 1 diabetes (formerly called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus), more recent studies suggest that it can sometimes be the presenting condition in obese black patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes (formerly called non–insulin-depe Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka)

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka)

Definition: A hyperglycemic, acidotic state caused by insulin deficiency. The disease state consists of 3 parameters: Hyperglycemia (glucose > 250 mg/dl) Acidosis Ketosis Epidemiology Incidence of ~ 10,000 cases/year in US Mortality rate: 2-5% (prior to insulin was 100%) (Lebovitz 1995) Pathophysiology Insulin deficiency leads to serum glucose rise Increased glucose load in kidney leads to increased glucose in urine and osmotic diuresis Osmotic diuresis is accompanied by loss of electrolytes including sodium, magnesium, calcium and potassium Volume depletion leads to impaired glomerular filtration rate (GFR) Inability to properly metabolize glucose results in fatty acid breakdown with resultant ketone bodies (acetoacetate + beta-hydroxybutyrate) Causes: An acute insult leads to decompensation of a chronic disease. Can also be first manifestation of new onset diabetes (particularly in children). Below are common triggers Infection (particularly sepsis) Myocardial ischemia or infarction Medication non-compliance Clinical Presentation History Polydipsia, polyuria, polyphagia Weakness Weight loss Nausea/Vomiting Abdominal Pain Physical Examination Acetone odor on breath (“fruity” smell) Kussmaul’s respirations – deep fast breathing (tachypnea and hyperpnea) Tachycardia Hypotension Altered mental status Abdominal tenderness Diagnostic Testing Definitive diagnosis is established by laboratory criteria as detailed above (hyperglycemia, ketosis and acidosis) Essential Diagnostic Tests Serum glucose Typically > 350 mg/dL Euglycemic DKA (< 300 mg/dL) reported in up to 18% of patients Blood gas Patients will exhibit an anion gap metabolic Electrolytes: hypo/hyper/normokalemia, hyponatremia Arterial or venous blood gas can be used (Savage 2011) Urinalysis Glucosuria Ketonur Continue reading >>

Management Of A Patient With Diabetic Ketoacidosis In The Emergency Department

Management Of A Patient With Diabetic Ketoacidosis In The Emergency Department

Diabetic ketoacidosis is a common problem among known and newly diagnosed diabetic children and adolescents for which they will often seek care in the emergency department (ED). Technological advances are leading to changes in outpatient management of diabetes. The ED physician needs to be aware of the new technologies in the care of diabetic children and comfortable managing patients using continuous subcutaneous insulin infusions. This article reviews the ED management of diabetic ketoacidosis and its associated complications, as well as the specific recommendations in caring for patients using the continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion, serum ketone monitoring, and continuous glucose monitoring. Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved. 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 >>

Dka (diabetic Ketoacidosis): Real Life In The Emergency Room

Dka (diabetic Ketoacidosis): Real Life In The Emergency Room

This is the first in a series from Susan Dupont RN BSN who is an Emergency Room Nurse and contributor at NRSNG.com . . . Click to View All Articles in the “Real Life in the ER Series” Every patient is a mystery that needs to be solved. Some are easy, some are complex, some aren’t solvable, but the thrill of a good challenge is what keeps me coming back for more. The emergency room is full of unsolved mystery’s. Every once in a while a mystery worth writing about comes along. Altered Mental Status? It was like any normal shift. I had just discharged a patient and walked them out of the ER to turn around and see an EMS stretcher waiting to enter my room. I hadn’t even cleaned the room yet. I grabbed a piece of paper and pen and walked into my favorite type of patient, Altered Mental Status. This patient, a 20-year-old female, had been found wandering around the streets and stumbling around. She didn’t know her name and when she attempted to talk, random words were coming out of her mouth. She would only respond to a sternal rub and her breath was fruity. Vital signs: BP 80/48 mmHg Respirations of 32 Heart rate 125 bpm (sinus tachycardia on her EKG). After getting a reading of >500 blood glucose on the glucometer, we started the search for an IV. This was the challenge of the night. This little girl had absolutely tiny veins that were hidden. Her first IV gave us blood but after starting a bolus of normal saline the line infiltrated, causing a grape sized lump on her forearm. The next IV was in her hand and it worked but was only a 22 gauge. We needed better IV access. After using the infrared goggles and ultrasound we got 2 IV’s, one in each antecubital. Suspicious of Diabetic Ketoacidosis, her lab work confirmed the diagnosis. Her blood work showed: Glucose Continue reading >>

Alternative Management Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis In A Brazilian Pediatric Emergency Department

Alternative Management Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis In A Brazilian Pediatric Emergency Department

Abstract DKA is a severe metabolic derangement characterized by dehydration, loss of electrolytes, hyperglycemia, hyperketonemia, acidosis and progressive loss of consciousness that results from severe insulin deficiency combined with the effects of increased levels of counterregulatory hormones (catecholamines, glucagon, cortisol, growth hormone). The biochemical criteria for diagnosis are: blood glucose > 200 mg/dl, venous pH <7.3 or bicarbonate <15 mEq/L, ketonemia >3 mmol/L and presence of ketonuria. A patient with DKA must be managed in an emergency ward by an experienced staff or in an intensive care unit (ICU), in order to provide an intensive monitoring of the vital and neurological signs, and of the patient's clinical and biochemical response to treatment. DKA treatment guidelines include: restoration of circulating volume and electrolyte replacement; correction of insulin deficiency aiming at the resolution of metabolic acidosis and ketosis; reduction of risk of cerebral edema; avoidance of other complications of therapy (hypoglycemia, hypokalemia, hyperkalemia, hyperchloremic acidosis); identification and treatment of precipitating events. In Brazil, there are few pediatric ICU beds in public hospitals, so an alternative protocol was designed to abbreviate the time on intravenous infusion lines in order to facilitate DKA management in general emergency wards. The main differences between this protocol and the international guidelines are: intravenous fluid will be stopped when oral fluids are well tolerated and total deficit will be replaced orally; if potassium analysis still indicate need for replacement, it will be given orally; subcutaneous rapid-acting insulin analog is administered at 0.15 U/kg dose every 2-3 hours until resolution of metabolic acidosis Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis: An Emergency Medicine Simulation Scenario

Diabetic Ketoacidosis: An Emergency Medicine Simulation Scenario

DOI: 10.7759/cureus.1286 Cite this article as: Addison R, Skinner T, Zhou F, et al. (May 29, 2017) Diabetic Ketoacidosis: An Emergency Medicine Simulation Scenario. Cureus 9(5): e1286. doi:10.7759/cureus.1286 Abstract Simulation provides a safe environment where learning is enhanced through the deliberate practice of skills and controlled management of a variety of clinical encounters. This is particularly important for core cases and low-frequency, high-stakes procedures and encounters. Competency-based medical education has seen widespread adoption in the field along with ongoing work in the areas of undergraduate and postgraduate training. Similarly, effective professional development activities stand to benefit greatly from a more stringent integration of simulation and competency-based approaches. This particularly makes sense when considering the goals of patient safety and achievement of optimal clinical outcomes. The current report describes a simulation training session designed to acquaint emergency medicine residents with the presentation and management of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) through the use of simulation. Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka) Myths

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka) Myths

Recently, I was asked to give a lecture to both my residents and nurses at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) on some common DKA myths. Now this topic was originally covered by my good friend Anand Swaminathan on multiple platforms and I did ask his permission to create this blogpost with the idea of improving patient care and wanted to express full disclosure of that fact. I specifically covered four common myths that I still see people doing in regards to DKA management: We should get ABGs instead of VBGs After Intravenous Fluids (IVF), Insulin is the Next Step Once pH <7.1, Patients Need Bicarbonate Therapy We Should Bolus Insulin before starting the infusion DKA Myths Case: 25 y/o female with PMH of Type I DM who presents via EMS with AMS. Per EMS report, the patient ran out of her insulin 3 days ago….. Vital Signs: BP 86/52 HR 136 RR 30 O2Sat 97% on room air Temp 99.1 Accucheck: CRITICAL HIGH EMS was not able to establish IV access, so decided to just bring her to the ED due to how sick she looks. Your nurses are on point today and get you two large bore 18G IVs and start to draw blood work to send to the lab. You state I need a blood gas, and the nurse turns to you and asks do you need an ABG or VBG? Myth #1: We should get ABGs instead of VBGs in DKA So you do a literature review and come across two studies that specifically look at ABG vs VBG in an ED population: Study #1: Kelly AM et al. Review Article – Can Venous Blood Gas Analysis Replace Arterial in Emergency Medical Care. Emery Med Australas 2010; 22: 493 – 498. PMID: 21143397 For pH, 3 studies of patients with DKA (265 patients) were reviewed showing a weighted mean difference of 0.02 pH units. Only one study, which was the largest study (200 patients) reported 95% Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious problem that can occur in people with diabetes if their body starts to run out of insulin. This causes harmful substances called ketones to build up in the body, which can be life-threatening if not spotted and treated quickly. DKA mainly affects people with type 1 diabetes, but can sometimes occur in people with type 2 diabetes. If you have diabetes, it's important to be aware of the risk and know what to do if DKA occurs. Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis Signs of DKA include: needing to pee more than usual being sick breath that smells fruity (like pear drop sweets or nail varnish) deep or fast breathing feeling very tired or sleepy passing out DKA can also cause high blood sugar (hyperglycaemia) and a high level of ketones in your blood or urine, which you can check for using home-testing kits. Symptoms usually develop over 24 hours, but can come on faster. Check your blood sugar and ketone levels Check your blood sugar level if you have symptoms of DKA. If your blood sugar is 11mmol/L or over and you have a blood or urine ketone testing kit, check your ketone level. If you do a blood ketone test: lower than 0.6mmol/L is a normal reading 0.6 to 1.5mmol/L means you're at a slightly increased risk of DKA and should test again in a couple of hours 1.6 to 2.9mmol/L means you're at an increased risk of DKA and should contact your diabetes team or GP as soon as possible 3mmol/L or over means you have a very high risk of DKA and should get medical help immediately If you do a urine ketone test, a result of more than 2+ means there's a high chance you have DKA. When to get medical help Go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department straight away if you think you have DKA, especially if you have a high level of ketones in Continue reading >>

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