Diagnostic Analysis The patient’s symptoms and diagnostic studies were classic for hyperglycemic ketoacidosis associated with DM. The glycosylated hemoglobin showed that he had been hyperglycemic over the last several months. The results of his arterial blood gases (ABGs) test on admission indicated metabolic acidosis with some respiratory compensation. He was treated in the emergency room with IV regular insulin and IV fluids; however, before he received any insulin levels, insulin antibodies were obtained and were positive, indicating a degree of insulin resistance. His microalbumin was normal, indicating no evidence of diabetic renal disease, often a late complication of diabetes. During the first 72 hours of hospitalization, the patient was monitored with frequent serum glucose determinations. Insulin was administered according to the results of these studies. His condition was eventually stabilized on 40 units of Humulin N insulin daily. He was converted to an insulin pump and did very well with that. Comprehensive patient instruction regarding self-blood glucose monitoring, insulin administration, diet, exercise, foot care, and recognition of the signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia was given.
Critical Thinking Questions
1. Why was this patient in metabolic acidosis?
2. Do you think the patient will be switched eventually to an oral hypoglycemic agent?
3. How do you anticipate this adolescent social life is going to be affected?
4. How could you help this patient to be compliant with his treatment?
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