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Type 1 Diabetes: Emergency Care for Low Blood Sugar
This information is for people who may help you if you are too weak or confused to treat your low blood sugar. Make a copy for your partner, coworkers, and friends.
- Make sure the person can swallow. Give the person ½ teaspoon of water. If the person can swallow the water without choking or coughing:
- Give him or her 4 oz of liquid (juice or soda pop) from the list of quick-sugar foods, or glucose tabs or gel if available.
- Wait 10 to 15 minutes.
- Offer the person more quick-sugar food if he or she is feeling better but still has some symptoms of low blood sugar.
- Check the person's blood sugar level using his or her blood sugar (glucose) meter if available.
- Stay with the person until his or her blood sugar level is 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or higher.
- Offer the person a snack (such as cheese and crackers or half of a sandwich).
- If the person becomes more sleepy or seems to have no energy, call 911 or other emergency services immediately.
- If the person is unconscious or unable to swallow:
- Call 911 for emergency care right away.
- Give the person a shot of glucagon if one is available. See a slideshow about how to give a glucagon injection.
- If emergency help has not arrived within 5 minutes and the person is still unconscious, give another glucagon shot.
- Stay with the person until emergency help comes.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Jennifer Hone, MD - Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism|
|Last Revised||September 26, 2012|
|By:||Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: September 26, 2012|
|Medical Review:||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine|
Jennifer Hone, MD - Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
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