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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Rampant Hypoglycemia

We were toned out for a female passed out on the sidewalk in front of one of our local grocery stores. When we arrived on scene there was a small crowd surrounding a heavy set woman in her early 50's laying on the ground shaking. Someone had grabbed their jacket and laid it down as a pillow for her. Every one of our fire apparatus is considered and ALS unit meaning that it's staffed with at least one paramedic. On my crew I'm fortunate enough to work with another medic. This can be challenging if the medics don't work well together but that's not an issue with us. We quickly grabbed s-spine and started our assessment. Witnesses said that she just kind of collapsed as she walked out of the store. After giving her some oxygen she started to come around a little bit. She was still very groggy and slow to answer our questions. We checked her sugar and it was 37. Bingo.

Lately, everybody that we run on has low blood sugar. Stub a toe, because the sugar was 42 and they were almost passing out. Short of breath...sugar 51. Fall....44. Altered....27. It's strange enough that my captain even said that either the medics he has worked with in the past were horrible and never checked sugars or there just a recent case of rampant hypoglycemia going on.

I started a line and as I began to give her some dextrose her husband came out of the store. He had been looking for her all over the inside. He told us the she did indeed have diabetes and that this happened very rarely. After she had the sugar on board she was totally coherent. She told us that she must have taken her fast acting insulin this morning instead of the slow acting and that was why her sugar was so low. We cleared c-spine and loaded her onto the gurney.

For those of you who don't know here are some of the signs and symptoms of someone with low blood sugar levels.
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