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Diabetic emergencies: 5 things EMTs need to know

What are the most important things to remember when treating a patient with a history of diabetes?


In the United States, approximately 30 million people (or 9.4 percent of the population) have diabetes. However, 23.8 percent of those individuals have never received an official diagnosis. Furthermore, researchers estimate that 132,000 children under the age of 18 have diabetes [1].

Diabetes is a lifelong disease, which can be managed by a variety of treatment options. At its core, diabetes represents a dysfunction in the way the body processes sugar. The body either does not make enough of the hormone insulin, or it cannot effectively utilize insulin to move sugar from the bloodstream into the cells.

1. Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes was once referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes. However, type I diabetes can present at any age. Symptoms occur when the pancreas either makes an insufficient amount of insulin, or makes no insulin at all.

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