How to prevent and manage hyperglycemia: The seventh part in the series on handling common medical emergencies.

High blood sugar level is referred to as hyperglycemia. It is usually seen in the case of diabetics.


Diabetes Mellitus is associated with increased sugar levels

Infections and illness in diabetes further increase sugar levels and these in turn increase chances of infection, leading to a vicious cycle

Warning Signs

Polyuria: Person may wake up often at night tourinate

Polyphagia: Increased appetite

Polydipsia: Increased thirst, dry mouth

Other indications: Non-healing wounds and repeated occurrence of boils.

A person with a history of diabetes and the following symptoms may have increased blood sugar levels

Warm and dry skin.

Increased breathing and pulse.

Fruity smell in breath.

Drowsiness and finally unconsciousness.


Activate emergency medical response.

Patient should be taken to the hospital immediately.

If unconscious but breathing, put victim in recovery position.

Monitor and record vital signs, level of response, pulse and breathing.

If patient becomes unresponsive and is not breathing, start CPR.


Do not give anything to eat or drink if unconscious or very drowsy, as there is risk of choking.

Extract from Medical Emergency Handbook, VIVO Healthcare, Rs.199. To buy the book, contact VIVO Healthcare, DLF City Club, DLF City Phase 4, Gurgaon 122009. Ph: +91-124-4365848 +91-8860004734. E-mail: or


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