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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes diabetic coma?

My friend has been in as diabetic coma for 6-7 days now. She was found in her floor unresponsive and not making any sense. So no one knows exactly how long she was on the floor we know it was at least 12-36 hours we are not really too add ure. What are her chances of waking up? And what are her chances of having some kind of brain damage??
Wed, 17 May 2017
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Thanks for posting in HCM.
I understand your concern.
Diabetic coma is a medical emergency.
It occurs in persons with diabetes, when their blood glucose levels are dangerously high (hyperglycemia) or dangerously low (hypoglycemia).
It presents with loss of consciousness.
Depending on the cause (hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia), the treatment needs to be instituted.
If it is due to hypoglycemia, glucose infusion needs to be given along with injection of glucagon.
If it is due to hyperglycemia, blood glucose levels needs to be steadily brought down by injecting insulin.
Also, Intravenous fluids to improve fluid levels and supplementation of electrolytes namely sodium, potassium or phosphate needs to be done to bring them up to healthy levels.
Most people who get emergency treatment usually recover fully.
Delay in institution of treatment for several hours or longer can lead to some degree of brain damage. If there is suspicion of brain damage, it needs to be confirmed by undertaking CT scan.
Consciousness typically returns when blood sugar reaches a normal level.
If untreated, a diabetic coma can lead to permanent brain damage and death.
Hope the information provided would be helpful.
All the best.
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