ACTION STAT: Severe hypoglycemia
Vincent M. Vacca MSN, RN, CCRN

April 2010 
Volume 40  Number 4
Pages 72 - 72
  PDF Version Available!

MIDMORNING, YOU'RE caring for a child with a sprained ankle in the ED when the child's mother, Sue Taggert, 39, suddenly drops her handbag on the floor and appears unsteady on her feet. Her husband, Carl, alerts you to Ms. Taggert's condition. You immediately call for help as you position Ms. Taggert safely on a stretcher and perform a rapid assessment. Her ABCs are intact. She responds to verbal stimuli but is slightly confused. She's also pale, diaphoretic, and tremulous and complains of a headache and feeling weak.You take Ms. Taggert's vital signs: temperature, 98.6° F (37° C); heart rate, 124 and regular; respirations, 22 and slightly labored; SpO2, 98% on room air; and BP, 110/60 supine.You act quickly to identify the cause of Ms. Taggert's signs and symptoms. While obtaining a brief, targeted history, you learn that Ms. Taggert has type 1 diabetes.After informing the ED physician, you arrange for another nurse to care for Ms. Taggert's child.

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