preparation of a diabetic for emergency surgery

All diabetic patients being admitted for emergency surgery require intravenous control of their blood glucose irrespective of the severity of their diabetes.

If the patient is in a diabetic ketoacidotic crisis, effective control of the metabolic disorder will be advantageous in two ways:

  • vomiting and abdominal pain will be relieved; these may have been the original indications for surgery
  • the surgery will be safer

A few hours spent correcting ketoacidosis is essential unless the patient is in extremis: usually, there are electrolytes and acid-base abnormalities.

Last reviewed 01/2018

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