Summary

♦ Hyperglycaemia means blood glucose concentrations above the target zone (normally 4-8 mmol/l) for the each patient.

♦ In an acute situation, the level of the blood glucose is less important than the patient's condition.

♦ Ill patients should be transferred to hospital regardless of their blood glucose. Hyperglycaemia in pregnant women, elderly patients, and children should be managed in hospital.

♦ Patients with severe symptoms need prompt treatment.

♦ Diabetic ketoacidosis is a medical emergency requiring urgent treatment in hospital. It is preventable.

♦ Causes of hyperglycaemia are insufficient insulin or hypoglycaemic pills, excess food, too little exercise, infection, injury—accidental or surgical, myocardial infarction, menstruation, pregnancy, emotional stress, and drugs.

♦ Treatment of hyperglycaemia includes treating the cause if possible, and controlling the glucose by increasing hypoglycaemic therapy, reducing food, or increasing exercise.

♦ If the glucose cannot be controlled, seek the diabetes team's help early.

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