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Insulin Reaction (cont.)

Insulin Reaction Medical Treatment

Increasing blood sugar levels is the treatment of an insulin reaction. Emergency personnel may start an intravenous line and inject an ampule of D50W, a highly concentrated glucose solution. If the patient takes a long-acting insulin or oral hypoglycemic medication, the IV line may be left in place and a dextrose (a type of sugar) solution may be continually infused.

Patients who are elderly, have an underlying illness that caused the hypoglycemia, or are taking long-acting medication may need further observation, additional treatment, and admission to the hospital.

Patients who are cold (hypothermic) because of a prolonged insulin reaction may require rewarming.

Most patients are able to be discharged home after a short observation period. When EMS is involved at home, if the patient wakens and returns to normal with glucose treatment, there may be no need to transport them to hospital if there is a responsible adult who can care for them at home.

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Somogyi Phenomenon »

In the 1930s, Somogyi speculated that hypoglycemia induced by insulin could cause a counter-regulatory hormone response that produces hyperglycemia.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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