Why Is Ketoacidosis A Medical Emergency

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Management Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Donahey, Elisabeth PharmD, BCPS; Folse, Stacey PharmD, MPH, BCPS Section Editor(s): Weant, Kyle A. PharmD, BCPS; Column Editor Diabetes, a chronic medical condition, continues to increase in prevalence. One of the most severe complications of diabetes, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), results from insulin deficiency and is a medical emergency that is frequently encountered in the emergency department. Prompt diagnosis, assessment of key laboratory values, appropriate treatment, and close monitoring are important to the successful treatment of this complex metabolic disorder. Fluid repletion and insulin administration are mainstays of DKA treatment and serve to restore normal hemodynamic status while decreasing the metabolic acidosis. Careful monitoring of glucose concentrations, vital signs, and electrolytes is essential to prevent complications arising from the treatment of DKA. This article provides an overview of the pathophysiology, presentation, diagnosis, treatment, monitoring, and complications of DKA. © 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. Curt Thomas

    Emergency care is often initiated after they’re certain that the perceived threat has ended. You usually don’t get to see that, though, because the implication that the cops just shot someone and left them on the pavement drives a better headline, I guess. At an absolute minimum, EMS gets called in, and we make the determination as to whether or not the patient has injuries incompatable with life.

  2. Jill E Griffin

    It is.
    I was an emt for 12 years and went to plenty of calls for police shooting “victims”… Once the scene was safe, of course. Crazy people with guns, crowds lusting for blood….that's what delayed treatment in every single case I witnessed. Police officers are expected to have to be in harms way, not other emergency responders. We would quickly run out of firemen, medics, etc, if we spent their lives so foolishly, you know, like we are probably going to run out of cops if we don't start valuing the huge sacrifices they make to keep our streets as safe as possible.
    Btw, I put “victims” in quotes, because also in every single case I witnessed, oh, hundreds at least, the person injured acted foolishly, dangerously …. Exactly like most of the cases I see people rioting over lately. Just what do you think is going to happen if you point a gun, make a sudden move for a possible weapon, or physically assault a cop? Not just police. If you point a gun at me, I am damn sure going to do everything you tell me to. I don't want to be shot.

    Police deserve our respect. They are there for us, to protect us, regardless of your color, religion, etc. All of us. The world without them would be very dark indeed. And if we don't start supporting our police better, chaos wins. Maybe someone reaches into your car and starts beating the crap out of you, or points something that looks a hell of a lot like a gun at you. Who you gonna call?

  3. Miles Gordon

    I believe your premise is incorrect. I, and every cop I know, is taught to render aid and/or call for aid as soon as it is safe to do so.
    Keep in mind if an officer shoots a suspect and he is the only officer there, it is likely unsafe for the officer to turn his or her sole attention to the gunshot victim because of other possible suspects in the area, traffic, or other environmental concerns. That said, s/he should be able to call for medical aid.
    One more thought; we’re trained in basic first aid and can do a decent job until the ambulance shows up, but treating a gunshot wound is a bit more complicated. One might think to apply pressure to the wound and elevate feet to prevent shock, but most gunshot victims I’ve encountered are agitated and uncooperative (and their shooters weren’t cops and were not even around). This makes aid more difficult, especially without extra hands to assist.

    I hope this is helpful.

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