Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Some info

A few things that you ought to know but perhaps didn't before last night.

* if someone is diabetic and they have too much insulin in their system, they will go into hypoglycemic shock. To stop this you need to give them some sugar very quickly - like honey or jellybeans or chocolate. I did hear once that bananas are a good source of sugar, but that was from some random Adrian Edmondson/Rik Mayall tv special, so possibly that information source is suspect.

* if a hypo is bad enough, one of the first things that happens is the persons heart will start racing. So if the diabetic person is asleep, this will wake them up and they can get some sugar, or tell you that they need it.

* if they are tired enough, they may not be able to wake up to tell you that they need sugar, and in this case they will slip into hypoglycemic unconsciousness.

* (From: wikipedia ) Unconsciousness due to hypoglycemia can occur within 20 minutes to an hour after early symptoms and is not usually preceded by other illness or symptoms. Twitching or convulsions may occur. A person unconscious from hypoglycemia is usually pale, has a rapid heart beat, and is soaked in sweat: all signs of the adrenaline response to hypoglycemia

* (From: www.diabetesaustralia.com.au) If a person with diabetes is unconscious, drowsy or unable to swallow THIS IS AN EMERGENCY.

* when you call 000, the first person you talk to is just an operator, they will ask you "Police, Fire or Ambulance?" you reply just one word, and they will transfer your call to the appropriate service.

* when calling a call centre, the best thing to do is listen to the questions the operator is asking you, and answer only those. They know best what information they need to give you the best help possible, and in what order they need it. They don't need you giving them useless information like how scared you are, and asking them what will happen, that will just delay the help you are calling for.

* if you have called for an ambulance, the 000 operator will stay on the line with you until the paramedics arrive. This is so they can monitor the patients progress, and feed back any information to the paramedics so that they are up to speed when they get there.

* (From: www.diabetesaustralia.com.au) Here’s what needs to be done:

Place them on their side making sure their airway is clear
Give an injection of Glucagon if available and you are trained to give it
Phone for an ambulance (dial 000) stating a ‘diabetic emergency’
Wait with them until the ambulance arrives
When they regain consciousness, given them carbohydrate to maintain their blood glucose level.

* after a person suffering a hypo has had a Glucagon injection, it can still take between 15 and 20 minutes for them to become conscious.

* the paramedics will stay with the patient until they are satisfied that the patient is alert, and will not slip back into unconsciousness. They test this by testing the patients blood sugar over a 5-10 minute interval, making small talk and perhaps asking them questions about recent events.

* the patient should have something to eat - preferably something with slow acting carbohydrate sugars, such as a sandwich, or perhaps some left-over fruitcake from a wedding.

* the diabetic person will be extremely exhausted, and will most likely fall back to sleep very soon after the episode.

* in Australia you are charged $290 for an ambulance call out. There is also an additional charge of $2.62 for each kilometre the ambulance has to travel from its base station, and back to its base station after your call out.

* the invoice will be posted to you generally within approximately 3-4 weeks.

* despite the cost, it is important to remember that you have done the right thing.

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