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Treat Hyperglycemia in the Wilderness

Hyperglycemia is a diabetic emergency when the diabetic has too much sugar in the blood. A diabetic can usually tell you if he or she is beginning to experience this.


1. Evaluate for hyperglycemia by looking for the following signs and symptoms: thirst, loss of appetite, frequent urination, nausea, vomiting, fruity odor on the breath, red and dry skin.
2. Ask the diabetic if he or she has eaten today and taken insulin. If the person has eaten but not taken insulin, suspect hyperglycemia.
3. Administer fluids if the person is conscious and able to hold a cup.
4. Provide supportive care if the person loses consciousness, monitoring airway, vitals and treating for shock.
5. Evacuate immediately to a hospital where a physician can assess the type and amount of insulin needed.

Overall Warnings:

  • Do not administer fluids if the patient is unconscious.
  • This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.

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