Hypoglycemia: Treatment (Nursing)

by Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN

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    00:01 Now, you know what hypoglycemic can likely look like in a patient.

    00:05 Let's talk about how we want to educate them to treat it.

    00:08 Now if the patient has mild to moderate hypoglycemia, they're still able to think clearly, they just don't feel very good.

    00:15 We can probably fix this with some carbohydrate rich food if they're able to swallow.

    00:20 Okay, so mild and moderate, carbohydrate rich food if they can swallow we're going to be good to go.

    00:25 But important before they start this process we want them to check their blood sugar.

    00:32 So you need an assessment first.

    00:34 You don't feel so good.

    00:35 Check your blood sugar to find out how bad it.

    00:39 Is that determines what we do next.

    00:41 Remember you're gathering data looking at clinical cues before you make an effective clinical judgment.

    00:47 Check the blood sugar if it's less than 70 and they can swallow.

    00:51 It's okay.

    00:51 Let's just look at what we can do with some carbohydrate reach food, but we want to do it right away.

    00:58 So let me give you some examples you're looking about 15 grams of carbohydrates.

    01:03 So in case you're not real familiar with that, let's just throw out some ideas.

    01:07 They could take three glucose tablets.

    01:09 They could have 1/2 cup or four ounces of fruit juice or regular non-diet soda, so you can have a real coke right? Not the full 12 ounce can, but it have about a third of that and that should help, they could pop in five or six hard candies, they could take some sugar and dissolve it in water or just eat it plain they could have a teaspoon of honey.

    01:33 All of these are options that will give you about 15 grams of carbohydrates.

    01:39 So they start feeling kind of wonky, check their blood sugar, see that it's mild to moderate.

    01:44 They're still able to swallow.

    01:45 So they take about 15 grams of carbohydrates in and then wait 15 minutes.

    01:52 15 grams of carbs, wait 15 minutes.

    01:55 15 grams of carbs, wait 15 minutes.

    01:59 15 gram of carbs and wait 15 minutes, as long as you're not in a dangerous zone, you should be fine, if they wait about 15 minutes before they eat anymore because we don't want them to...

    02:11 raise their blood sugar up too quickly.

    02:13 So be careful not to eat too much to cause a super high blood sugar and possibly even weight gain.

    02:20 So that's how we would treat that mild to moderate so you can check your blood sugar again in 15 minutes if they don't feel better in 15 minutes and the blood sugar is still lower than 70, have them eat something again and just repeat the process every 15 minutes until you can get the blood sugar back with a normal.

    02:38 Now they may need to eat a snack, with their carbohydrates and protein, if your blood sugar is now within the safe range.

    02:44 So let's say my blood sugar was low.

    02:47 I checked it. I know it slow.

    02:50 So I ate my carbohydrate-rich snack, I waited 15 minutes, Check my blood sugar again, then if it's okay, if I think it's within a normal range and I feel okay, I might need to eat something with some protein because the next meal is like this longer than an hour an hour and a half away.

    03:08 So I'm going to eat some protein just to help maintain this healthy blood sugar.

    03:13 So you see some five there.

    03:14 You may eat a snack with carbohydrates and protein if your blood sugar is still right around that 70 range if it's a while until your next meal.

    03:23 Now last step if nothing works. This is an emergency.

    03:27 So if these five steps that I've laid out if they don't work for raising your blood sugar to a healthy range, you need to call the physician right away or get straight to the hospital.

    03:38 So that's how we treat mild to moderate hypoglycemia.

    03:42 You have those five steps, what you recognize, you check your blood sugar, you try a simple snack, re-check your blood sugar.

    03:49 Once you get it stabilized you can add a little extra snack on there, if mealtime is an hour or so away.

    03:56 Now a severe hypoglycemia.

    03:58 This is not going to be fixed with a carbohydrate snack or the patient is unable to swallow.

    04:04 We can use IV or we can use a Sub-Q.

    04:08 Let me talk about the differences.

    04:10 IV glucose will raise the glucose immediately, but you can only use that in a hospital setting.

    04:16 So IV, you already know absorption, There isn't any, if absorption is the route of entry to the bloodstream with IV Administration, we put it right in the bloodstream.

    04:28 So glucose, that's raised immediately, but it's not available for home use.

    04:34 Now Sub-Q glucagon.

    04:36 Hey, that sounds familiar.

    04:39 Glucagon that's like that hormone in my pancreas that raises my blood sugar.

    04:45 Exactly! Now this sub Q takes about 20 minutes for a response.

    04:50 You can use it at home and it encourages the glycogen breakdown in the liver.

    04:55 Now you're going to Need food when you can swallow when that blood sugar starts to raise up to keep that blood sugar normal and stable, but it'll take about 20 minutes for that Sub-Q glucagon to kick in.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Hypoglycemia: Treatment (Nursing) by Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN is from the course Diabetes Type 1 and 2: Complications and Symptoms (Nursing).

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. "Drink half a cup of fruit juice."
    2. "Call your health care provider right away."
    3. "Inject subcutaneous glucagon."
    4. "Drink a can of soda."
    1. "I will take at least one teaspoon of honey."
    2. "I will consume one can of coke."
    3. "I will eat one cup of ice cream."
    4. "I will take five glucose tablets."
    1. Stimulates glycogen breakdown in the liver
    2. Slows insulin release in the pancreas
    3. Stimulates glucose absorption in the small intestine
    4. Encourages glucose intake in brain cells

    Author of lecture Hypoglycemia: Treatment (Nursing)

     Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN

    Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN

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