Safety At Home

First Aid

Diabetic Emergency

Signs and symptoms

Low blood sugar

  • pale
  • hungry
  • sweating
  • weak
  • confused
  • aggressive.

High blood sugar

  • thirsty
  • needs to urinate
  • hot dry skin
  • smell of acetone on breath.

What to do

Unconscious patient

1. Follow DRSABCD.

2. Give nothing by mouth.

Conscious patient

If you are not sure which form of diabetic emergency the patient has, give a sweet drink. This will not do any harm.

Low blood sugar

1. Give sugar, glucose or a sweet drink such as a soft drink or cordial (NOT ‘diet’ or sugarfree drinks).

2. Continue giving sugar every 15 minutes until the patient recovers.

3. Follow up with a sandwich or other food.

4. If no improvement, call triple zero (000) for an ambulance.

High blood sugar

1. Seek medical attention if required.

2. Give patient sugar-free fluids if help is delayed.


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