Severe Hypoglycemia: Symptoms & Treatment
Diabetes eTraining Slide 13

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If not treated promptly a mild hypoglycemic reaction can quickly progress to a severe state:

Behavior/personality changes

  • Seizures, convulsions 
  • Extreme tiredness/fatigue
  • Sudden crying 
  • Restlessness
  • Confusion  
  • Inability to swallow
  • Dazed Appearance   
  • Unconsciousness/coma
  • Jerking movements

Treatment of Severe Hypoglycemia

Severe hypoglycemia is rare, but can be life threatening, if not treated promptly:

  • Follow Emergency Care Plan
  • Place student on his or her side
  • Lift chin to keep airway open
  • Inject glucagon if provided for in the student’s Emergency care Plan
  • Never attempt to give food or put anything in the student’s mouth
  • Identify someone to call 911, and then call parent/guardian
  • The student should respond to the glucagon in 10 to 20 minutes
  • Remain with the student until help arrives
  • When the student regains consciousness after the glucagon injection, they may feel nauseated or vomit.

Prevention of Severe Hypoglycemia                      

  • Eat balanced meals and snacks
  • Keep snacks on hand
  • Check blood glucose regularly, especially during physical activity
  • Administer insulin correctly
  • Early recognition of mild symptoms




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