Diabetic Hypoglycemia

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Diabetic hypoglycemia is a serious condition that happens when your blood glucose (sugar) level drops too low.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

Diabetic hypoglycemia needs immediate treatment. Even after treatment, diabetic hypoglycemia can happen again. You may have a seizure. Hypoglycemia can be life-threatening if it is not treated.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

An IV

is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

Oxygen:

You may need extra oxygen if your blood oxygen level is lower than it should be. You may get oxygen through a mask placed over your nose and mouth or through small tubes placed in your nostrils. Ask your caregiver before you take off the mask or oxygen tubing.

Sugar:

You may be given juice or hard candy if you have low blood sugar. This will help bring your blood sugar level up.

Nutrition:

A dietitian will plan your meals and snacks while you are in the hospital. You will be given foods that are low in sugar, fat, and cholesterol. A dietitian may talk to you about changing the foods you eat at home.

Medicines:

  • Glucagon: This medicine may be given to increase your blood sugar level if you cannot swallow juice or candy. It is often given as a shot.

  • Glucose: This medicine will be given in your IV if you cannot swallow sugar. You may also need glucose if you were given glucagon and your blood sugar level still did not come back to normal.

Tests:

  • Blood tests: You may need blood taken to give healthcare providers information about how your body is working. Your blood may be tested for the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in it.

  • Glucose tests: A machine is used to test the amount of sugar in your blood. Your blood sugar level may be tested at least 3 times each day while you are in the hospital. You will be taught how to do this at home.

  • Urine sample: A sample of your urine is collected in a cup. It is tested for the amount of ketones and sugar in your urine. This test tells caregivers how well your blood sugar is being controlled, and if you need more tests.

Monitoring:

  • Heart monitor: This is also called an ECG or EKG. Sticky pads placed on your skin record your heart's electrical activity.

  • Intake and output: Caregivers will keep track of the amount of liquid you are getting. They also may need to know how much you are urinating. Ask how much liquid you should drink each day. Ask caregivers if they need to measure or collect your urine.

  • Pulse oximeter: A pulse oximeter is a device that measures the amount of oxygen in your blood. A cord with a clip or sticky strip is placed on your finger, ear, or toe. The other end of the cord is hooked to a machine. Never turn the pulse oximeter or alarm off. An alarm will sound if your oxygen level is low or cannot be read.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Diabetic Hypoglycemia (Inpatient Care)

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