Changes in laboratory values often give us clues to what is happening with our patients. I came across the following resource this morning and thought it was worth sharing. Here’s a handy table to help you identify diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

The following equation can be used to calculate an anion gap:

Anion gap = Na+(mEq/L) – [Cl-(mEq/L) + HCO3-(mEq/L)] 

You have an important role when caring for a patient with DKA.  Thorough physical assessments, careful monitoring of laboratory values, and critical thinking are essential to avoid complications of this complex disorder. Have you cared for a patient with DKA? What are the common presenting signs and symptoms?

Reference
Donahey, E., Folse, S., Weant, K. (2012). Management of Diabetic Ketoacidosis. Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal, 34(3).