How To Help Someone Having A Hypoglycaemic Shock

How To Help Someone Having A Hypoglycaemic Shock

Table of Contents

Hypoglycaemia is a condition when a diabetic, particularly a type 1 diabetic, has a sudden drop in their sugar levels. It can happen from various reasons. Some of the most common reasons are as follows:

  • They have taken their insulin prior to their meal but got busy and skipped the meal
  • They took a high dose of insulin and had a very light meal
  • They ignored milder symptoms of hypoglycaemic shock
  • They suddenly changed their lifestyle without changing their eating and insulin patterns

All the above factors will lead to a sudden increase in insulin, which will digest the blood sugar even if the diabetic has less blood sugar in their system. In our earlier articles we have discussed what a diabetic should do during a hypoglycaemic shock. In this article we are specifically addressing people who are around diabetics, your friend or family member may have hypoglycaemic shock. You may just be a passer-by who has suddenly witnessed a diabetic faint because of low blood sugar. How can you help? Remember the tips you learn from this article can save someone’s life.

Check For Symptoms of Hypoglycaemia

If the person has a history of diabetes and if they complain of dizziness, hunger and excessive sweating, check their pulse. If you notice a rapid irregular heartbeat, it is likely that they are having a hypoglycaemic shock. Ask them if they have chest pain because these symptoms are common in heart attacks as well.

If you suddenly see someone fainting on the road or in public transport, check their heartbeat. If they have fainted from low blood sugar, you will notice a rapid irregular heartbeat. Check for signs of excessive perspiration on their forehead, underarms, back etc.

Call The Ambulance

If the person has fainted, you must call the ambulance immediately. In situations like this, seconds are very important. So, make sure you call for medical assistance while you work to save someone’s life. If you are in a local train, safely take them off the next station before you can call the ambulance or take them to the clinic inside the station.

Hypoglycaemia Supplies

If you live with a diabetic, you should know where they keep all their diabetic supplies like their glucose tablets/gels, insulin, glucagon shot kits, testing kits etc. It will help in emergency situations like this.

The situation changes when you are with a stranger who you suspect to have fainted because of hypoglycaemia. While you wait for help to arrive, you can check in the patient’s bag for diabetic supplies. Type one diabetics must carry a health card and emergency glucagon shot kits for moments like this.

How to Use a Glucose Testing Kit

A diabetic must have a glucose testing kit at hand. When in the house or on the go, so make sure you find their glucose testing kit and check their glucose count. Each testing kit works slightly differently from each other but we have listed the basic workings of a glucose testing kit.

In order to test the blood glucose you will need:

  1. Glucose Meter
  2. Testing strips
  3. Lancing device (Pricking Device)
  4. Lancelet (The needle)
  5. Cotton
  6. Hand wash/hand sanitiser

If you live with a diabetic you should know exactly where all these things are kept and if you are helping an unconscious diabetic outdoors, you should check their bags for the above items. In both situations, make sure you do this after you have already called the ambulance.

Begin by washing your hands and wash the patients hand that you will prick. If you are outside, you can use plain water to clean your hands and the hand of the fainted person. Make sure your hands are dry before you proceed.

Remove the protective seal on the lancelet and insert it in the lancing device. Take out a brand new test strip and insert it in the glucose meter. You will see an opening in the meter that resembles a USB port. That’s where you insert the unused testing strip. Once you have everything ready, switch on the meter and bring the lancing device to the diabetic’s finger to prick it. It will be a quick prick and you will have to press the finger gently to draw blood. Once you see blood, gently press it to the bottom of the strip and you will get a reading. If the meter reads below 70 mg/dl it means that the person is hypoglycaemic. Remember to press a cotton ball around the pricked area to stop the blood from flowing.

How to Use a Glucagon Shot Kit

 If the diabetic person is unconscious, you should not give them anything orally as the patient might choke. Glucagon shots are the best way to save their life. A glucagon shot usually has all the supplies for a single injection and the instructions are always written on the glucagon shot kit. In the kit you will find:

  1. A bottle of glucagon which is a dry powder
  2. A syringe of clear liquid

In order to administer glucagon you must:

  1. Remove the seal from the bottle
  2. Remove the syringe protector from the syringe
  3. Insert the syringe in the bottle and inject the clear liquid in the bottle
  4. Shake the glucagon bottle until the liquid becomes clear and draw the liquid with the help of the syringe.
  5. Most glucagon manuals will tell you how much to inject depending on the reading you received in the testing kit.
  6. Hold it at a 90 degree angle and inject the entire needle of glucagon on their thigh, stomach, or buttocks.
  7. Once the person starts to regain consciousness give them glucose tablets or a sweet juice or aerated drink to have to slowly bring their sugar levels up again.

Note: Avoid chocolates or ice creams that are slightly solid during this time. Solids require longer to digest which delays the time the glucose enters the blood. This is why, you should give your diabetic friend a sweet liquid or glucose tablets. If you have called the ambulance first, you may not have to inject the needle but it is always important to know what you can do to save a dear one in need. We hope this article was helpful. Do you know someone who needs to know how to use diabetic supplies, please share this article with them. Let’s do our part to share this information as much as we can. It can help save someone’s life!

Join the conversation

You might also like..

Link Between Diabetes And Alzheimer’s Disease

What’s The Link Between Diabetes And Alzheimer’s Disease

When we talk about diabetes we refer to how it can cause heart problems or lead to kidney or liver damage. We rarely talk about how diabetes can affect the brain. New research is starting to show concrete evidence that there is a link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, researchers are seeing so

Read More »
Diabetes And Stress

Diabetes And Stress – How Does Stress Affect Your Body?

Mental stress and physical stress can affect your body in more ways than you can imagine. Doctors have been trying to prove the correlation between stress and diabetes for centuries. Finally, in a 2010 study, doctors were able to reveal that those with depression and anxiety have a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes.

Read More »
3 Reasons Why Diabetics Should Eat On Time

3 Reasons Why Diabetics Should Eat On Time

We have discussed the importance of eating right and ingredients that keep your blood sugar under control with the right kind of food. What we often overlook is the importance of eating on time. Your body depends on a routine so that you can have fewer sugar spikes. But why is it so important for

Read More »
Food That Naturally Lowers Blood Sugar

8 Types Of Food That Naturally Lowers Blood Sugar

If you are diabetic you know that it’s crucial for you to manage your blood sugar. Your life depends on it. Medicine only works so far. The best way to maintain diabetes is to include food that naturally lowers blood sugar. But what are they? Let’s find out in the article below.  8 Types Of

Read More »
Connection Between Diabetes And Heart Disease

What Is The Connection Between Diabetes And Heart Disease

Diabetes is a very scary degenerative condition partly because it puts you at risk for so many other illnesses and heart disease is just one of the many things that can affect diabetics. But what is the connection between diabetes and heart disease and how can you protect yourself from getting it? Let’s find out.

Read More »

Our products..

SHOPPING BAG 0

Login
Create an account

A link to set a new password will be sent to your email address.

Your personal data will be used to support your experience throughout this website, to manage access to your account, and for other purposes described in our privacy policy.

Password Recovery

Lost your password? Please enter your username or email address. You will receive a link to create a new password via email.