Type 1 Diabetes - D50 or Serum Blood Glucose?

  1. I'm having a test tomorrow and I have a question that I am torn on.

    If someone is a type 1 diabetic and is unconscious, would you give them D50 first or assess the serum blood glucose first?

    This has been very torn in my class and my teacher has not offered assistance in clearing this issue.
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  3. by   nursej22
    What is the worst thing that can happen if you take the time to draw a serum glucose and wait for results?

    And what is the worst thing that can happen if you give D50 (with an order) before knowing what their serum glucose is?

    What will kill them first?
  4. by   MunoRN
    Diabetic coma can be cause by both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, you pretty clearly wouldn't want to give D50 to someone who is already critically hyperglycemic, so you would check a BG first.
  5. by   dudette10
    With questions like this, always think "assessment before intervention." That should answer your question.
  6. by   nursej22
    Yeah, I was bringing too much into the question. In NCLEX land, you have every thing you need, like instant lab results. And I got hung up on "serum", which to me means a venous draw that can take 5-20 minutes, as opposed to a fingerstick in 5-15 sec.

    In reality, there would be more to the assessment of a T1D than just unconscious.
    You would be assessing skin and respirations-cool and clammy,shallow resp. : hypoglycemic.
    Warm dry skin, deep rapid respirations: hyperglycemic.