first-aid-kit.jpg

First Aid 

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is characterized by low blood sugar levels, typically less than 70 mg/dL. Hypoglycemia typically involves a decreasing level of responsiveness, and individuals who have diabetes are especially susceptible to hypoglycemic episodes. Hypoglycemia may involve impaired consciousness and may follow epileptic seizures, binge drinking, or the use of certain drugs. 

Symptoms of hypoglycemia include:

  • Irregular/fast heart rate

  • Fatigue

  • Anxiety

  • Shakiness

  • Pale skin

  • Hunger

  • Sweating

  • Irritability

  • Tingling/numbness of the lips, tongue, or cheek

  • Confusion

  • Abnormal behavior

  • Visual changes (blurred vision)

  • Loss of consciousness

  • Seizure

To treat an individual with hypoglycemia, take the following steps:

  1. Have the individual sit down, and give them approximately 10g of glucose; i.e. 8oz glass of fruit juice, 2 teaspoons of sugar, sugary candy, glucose tablets/gel, soft drink (non-diet), honey, etc. 

  2. If available, have the individual check their blood glucose with a glucose testing kit. If blood glucose is less than 70 mg/dL after 15 minutes, give approximately 15-20g more of sugary food/drink. 

  3. Monitor vital signs and call for emergency medical assistance if the individual’s condition does not improve.

  4. Have the individual eat a snack or a meal after they are feeling better to stabilize blood glucose levels. 

Resources

Austin, M., Crawford, R., & Armstrong, V. J. (2014). First aid manual. (G. M. Piazza, Ed.) (5th ed.). DK Publishing. https://kuiyem.ku.edu.tr/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/American-College-of-Emergency-Physicians-ACEP-First-Aid-Manual.pdf

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2020, March 13). Hypoglycemia. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hypoglycemia/symptoms-causes/syc-20373685.