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Old 04-11-2006, 08:40 PM   #1
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Options for Emergency Low Sugar Situation?

What are the options for Emergency situation when Blood Sugar gets too low and someone is not responding?
I know you should dial 911......BUT....I think the person there should have some alternative to try to revive the Diabetic.
So I was in search of finding out what ALL the options could be.....

I know there are shots available -
but I think they are only good for 3 months???
Are they expensive?
Only available with Prescription?

I read something about a Gel to put under the togue....Is that Prescription?
How long is that good for (shelf life)?

Is there something available over-the-counter at a Drug Store?

What about any "Home Remedies"?
(For Example)
I was told about squirting Cake Icing into the mouth....but couldn't that possible cause choking?
Or is it okay as long as the person is sitting up?

Thanks!

 
Old 04-12-2006, 01:47 AM   #2
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Re: Options for Emergency Low Sugar Situation?

The problem with emergency sugar situation is that it depends on the state of the individual at the time. For example if they have slipped into a coma then nothing ahould be given orally as they can choke on it.

If a person is unconcisous nothing should be administered orally even if they are sitting up because the tongue relaxes and therefore they lose the swallowing reflux.

If a person isnt unconscious then there are things which can be given till emergency help arrives to help boost the sugar levels.

One thing to remember is when trying to get sugar into a person who is struggling with sugar levels never mix it with anything. This is because if you mix sugar with any kind of fluid it takes the body longer to absorb the sugar as the body has to breakdown the sugar plus the fluid and in emergency situations the quicker the sugar can get into the body the better. Therefore it is better to give neat.

For example many people mix sugar with milk..........this really isnt advisable as the body has to break down the sugar plus the milk. and it reduces the strength of the sugar.

A mars bar is a brilliant way of getting sugar into a person if they can chew and swallow, a mars bar is full of glucose, lots of different types of sugar and is quickly absorbed into the body. There are tablets which can be bought, again pure glucose which almost look like sweets.

Also the other difficult thing is that there is ahigh chance that whilst a person is trying to get sugar into a diabetic they could do more harm than good as too much suagr can raise their sugar levels. If this situation is needed then it is advisable to check the sugar levels on a regualr basis every few minutes until help arrives.

I hope this has helped you but remember this is just advice only and you should follow your gut instinct and ring for emergency services.

Last edited by Sharon76; 04-12-2006 at 01:50 AM.

 
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Old 04-12-2006, 12:13 PM   #3
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Re: Options for Emergency Low Sugar Situation?

The shot that you're talking about is called glucagon, and it is available by prescription. You's need a small bit of training to use it.

If this is a frequent occurrence, however, the diabetic person needs to work with his/her doctor to figure out why this is happening and if there's anything that can be done. It's possible he/she is experiencing something called hypoglycemic unawareness. If that's the case, he/she needs to be testing blood sugar more frequently. Also, sometimes a change of insulin will help...the older insulin, NPH, was notorious for causing hypo unawareness and some people were able to regain the awareness by going on other insulin regimens such as lantus/humalog, or a pump where they use only humalog or novolog. If this person has already made that change and is still having frequent, unexplained lows, the only solution will be to either raise the target range for his/her blood glucose levels, or for the person to be testing literally every hour, so he/she can catch it before it gets that bad.

Ruth

 
Old 04-12-2006, 01:57 PM   #4
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Re: Options for Emergency Low Sugar Situation?

The glucagon kit is the only thing you can do for a person when their bs is too low to eat. They cost about $100 and are good for a year, not 3 months.

 
Old 04-12-2006, 06:06 PM   #5
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strong_one HB User
Re: Options for Emergency Low Sugar Situation?

How about Orange Juice? If a person is concious. Is that ok?

 
Old 04-12-2006, 09:04 PM   #6
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Re: Options for Emergency Low Sugar Situation?

Many things are okay if the person is fully conscious. That, however, is a big IF! If the person is either partially or fully unconscious, nothing should be given by mouth as the person may aspirate it into their lungs and end up dying.

Ruth

Last edited by SamQKitty; 04-12-2006 at 09:05 PM.

 
Old 04-13-2006, 07:32 AM   #7
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Re: Options for Emergency Low Sugar Situation?

Thanks for all the info!
There hasn't been an emergency situation in the last year, I have known my boyfriend - I'm just doing my homework incase it does happen.

Thanks!

 
Old 04-13-2006, 09:09 PM   #8
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blondy2061h HB User
Re: Options for Emergency Low Sugar Situation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thewarrior
Thanks for all the info!
There hasn't been an emergency situation in the last year, I have known my boyfriend - I'm just doing my homework incase it does happen.

Thanks!

Planning ahead is good.

 
Old 04-14-2006, 07:28 AM   #9
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Re: Options for Emergency Low Sugar Situation?

I live in the UK and by my bed I always have a tube of HYPOSTOP which is a fast acting dextrose gel! If I start going low in the night, and my partner can't wake me, he squeezes the gel into my mouth, this is not a liquid like juice, so it is not dangerous, obviously he only uses this if I am not consious enough to take a sweet drink!

In the UK we can get this free, as diabetics get free prescriptions over here! but I don't know where you are. Glucogon is really a very last measure and if you have to pay for your medication this is likely to be more expensive than HYPOSTOP. Before HYPOSTOP was around, years ago my parents used to administer honey.

Best of luck, and your boyfriend is lucky to have such an understanding partner.

Last edited by SOAPFLAKE; 04-14-2006 at 07:30 AM.

 
Old 04-14-2006, 11:06 AM   #10
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Re: Options for Emergency Low Sugar Situation?

In the 1960s I was dealing with my little daughter that had 2 glucose levels, way too high and way too low. There were no home blood test so we were flying blind.

She would appear to be up but when you looked into her eyes they said "no body's home". She would obey simple one word commands. I would put a spoonful of Coke, have her open her mouth and then swallow. After about 3 spoons, and a minute or two time suddenly her eyes said "I'm home now" at which point she could hold the drink and finish it.

There used to be glucose in a tube like toothpaste. Later when she was not having quiet such a tough time she would use that when she was swimming. She did SCUBA diving and she could use that while under the water.

Hate finger sticks??? Be happy you can.

Some mothers recently are using cake icing in a tube. Put a toothpaste size blob in the cheek. It does not have to be swallowed. I keep glucotabs for myself but have never reached a point where I needed help.

Last edited by Betty325062000; 04-14-2006 at 11:07 AM.

 
Old 04-14-2006, 12:08 PM   #11
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ember919 HB User
Re: Options for Emergency Low Sugar Situation?

warrior,
you can buy glucose tablets (look kinda like necco wafers candy) at just about any drugstore or grocery store. you can also buy glucose gel OTC, but those are harder to find. many people just substitute the small tubes of gel-type cake icing.

if you're regularly around a person who experiences regular ups and/or downs, you learn to recognize the symptoms pretty quickly, often before they do (as their minds aren't processing correctly at that point). if the person loses consciousness, you should obviously call 911.

 
Old 04-14-2006, 03:28 PM   #12
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Wink Re: Options for Emergency Low Sugar Situation?

Here is a trick I learned from my daughter. Glucotabs have 2 packaging. One is a roll about the size of a roll of quarters and is pretty good for carrying. The other is a bottle like antacids usually come in. The bottle is much cheaper (per tablet) than the roll. So I bought some rolls and a bottle. Refill the rolls from the bottle. The rolls store good and I have one in each car and in FL that can mean a zillion degrees of heat. I can use all the financial help I can get and this does help some. I don't use a lot of them but try to always have one available. I don't always recognize my lows so I always check my glucose before I drive. I have tabs when I need them.

 
Old 04-15-2006, 05:56 PM   #13
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Post Re: Options for Emergency Low Sugar Situation?

You can line the gums with cake frosting for an unconcious person as the oral mucosa does absorb it.A diabetic coma is irreversible and so not wise to wait.

 
Old 04-15-2006, 08:46 PM   #14
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Re: Options for Emergency Low Sugar Situation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mari526
You can line the gums with cake frosting for an unconcious person as the oral mucosa does absorb it.A diabetic coma is irreversible and so not wise to wait.
While it is imperative that this is taken care of promptly I think your remarks could cause needless worry, possibly even panic. This topic was hypoglycemia, not diabetic coma and if caught promptly it can usually be handled without professional health care. Hypoglycemia can come on rather suddenly.

A diabetic coma on the other hand would need immediate professional care but it is incorrect to say it is irreversible. A diabetic coma does not just sneak up on you. It takes time, time during which it should be recognized and treated.

Both conditions can cause death or brain damage if left untreated. Both conditions are most likely reversible if handled promptly.
BVan (Betty)

 
Old 04-15-2006, 09:19 PM   #15
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blondy2061h HB User
Re: Options for Emergency Low Sugar Situation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Betty325062000
Here is a trick I learned from my daughter. Glucotabs have 2 packaging. One is a roll about the size of a roll of quarters and is pretty good for carrying. The other is a bottle like antacids usually come in. The bottle is much cheaper (per tablet) than the roll. So I bought some rolls and a bottle. Refill the rolls from the bottle. The rolls store good and I have one in each car and in FL that can mean a zillion degrees of heat. I can use all the financial help I can get and this does help some. I don't use a lot of them but try to always have one available. I don't always recognize my lows so I always check my glucose before I drive. I have tabs when I need them.

I do the refilling thing too!

 
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