The diabetic child in the emergency room

Flück, Christa; Mullis, Primus-Eugen (2005). The diabetic child in the emergency room. Therapeutische Umschau, 62(8), pp. 571-576. Huber

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The WHO announced diabetes mellitus as one of the main threats to human health in the 21st century. In children and adolescents the prevalence of both the autoimmune type 1 and the obesity-related type 2 diabetes is increasing. Common to all types of diabetes is an absolute or relative lack of insulin to keep glucose homeostasis under control. Thus children and adolescents with newly diagnosed diabetes present with hyperglycemia which is often accompanied by ketoacidosis bearing the risk of cerebral edema. Children and adolescents with known diabetes treated with insulin or orale antidiabetic agents may also suffer from hyperglycemia or even ketoacidosis during times of non-compliance with diet and drugs or during concomitant illnesses. Hyperglycemia with ketoacidosis is an emergency situation for which patients need to be admitted to the next hospital for administration of insulin, fluids and potassium. In contrast, insulin treatment in diabetic patients may also lead to a hypoglycemia, the sudden drop in blood glucose, at any moment. Thus recognition and correction of mild hypoglycemia should be familiar to every diabetic child and their caretaker. Severe hypoglycemia with or without seizures may bring the diabetic child in a sudden emergency situation for which the administration of glucagon intramuscularly or glucose intravenously is mandatory. After every severe hypoglycemia the insulin and diet regimen of the diabetic child or adolescent must be reviewed with the diabetes specialist. For unexplained hypoglycemia or major treatment adjustments the diabetic child or adolescent may need to be readmitted to the diabetic ward of a hospital to avoid repeat, potentially life-threatening hypoglycemia.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine > Endocrinology/Metabolic Disorders
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > Unit Childrens Hospital > Forschungsgruppe Endokrinologie / Diabetologie / Metabolik (Pädiatrie)

UniBE Contributor:

Flück, Christa and Mullis, Primus-Eugen


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology








Christa Emma Flück Pandey

Date Deposited:

22 Aug 2014 11:03

Last Modified:

22 Aug 2014 11:03

PubMed ID:



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