Diabetic ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a life-threatening emergency

The most likely times for DKA to occur are:

  • At diagnosis. (Some people who do not realise they have Type 1 diabetes do not get diagnosed until they are very unwell with DKA.)
  • When you are ill.
  • During a growth spurt/puberty.
  • If you have not taken your insulin for any reason.
  • DKA usually develops over 24 hours but can develop faster particularly in young children. Hospital admission and treatment is essential to correct the life-threatening acidosis. Treatment involves closely monitored intravenous fluids, insulin and glucose.

Authored by: Dr Tim Ubhi

Published: 8th March 2019

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