First Aid Training - Hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar)

Introduction

High blood sugar levels (hyperglycaemia) over a long period can result in unconciousness. Usually the casualty will drift into this state over a few days. Hyperglycaemia requires urgent treatment in hospital.

Recognition features

  • Warm, dry skin.
  • Rapid pulse and breathing.
  • Fruity/sweet breath.
  • Excessive thirst.
  • If untreated, drowsiness, then unconsciousness.

Treatment

Your aim is to arrange urgent removal of the casualty to hospital.

  • Dial 999 (or 112) for an ambulance.
  • Monitor the level of response and look for any other possible causes.

If the casualty is unconscious:

  • Open the airway and check breathing. (primary survey)
  • Give chest compressions and rescue breaths if necessary.
  • If the patient loses consciousness but is still breathing normally place them in the recovery position.
  • Dial 999 or 112 for an ambulance.
  • Monitor and record the levels of response, pulse and breathing.
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