Diabetic Ketoacidosis – The Sweet Killer

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Author: Hina Tahir, Divyansh Gulati / Editor: Jessie Lynch / Codes: Published: 14/02/2024

A 27-year-old female, known type 1 diabetic, has been brought to the Emergency Department (ED) by ambulance. She has been unwell for 2 days with vomiting and has been unable to eat or drink anything. She has not taken her insulin for 2 days.

Her vital signs are:

  • Heart rate 125 beats/minute
  • Blood pressure 90/65mmHg
  • Oxygen saturation 97% on air
  • Glasgow coma score 15/15
  • Temperature 35.5 degrees Celsius
  • Respiratory rate 26 breaths/minute

VBG showed:

  • PH 6.9
  • PCO2 2.6
  • HCO3 5.8
  • BE -24.9
  • Na 137
  • K 5.7

Glu 41 Blood ketones = 6mmol/L.

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