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June 15, 2004

Hyperglycemia and DKA, Other

Question from Dallas, Texas, USA:

My cleaning person has type 2 diabetes and takes 70/30 insulin. We had a power outage and she was without refrigeration for about five days. A few days ago she complained to me about high blood sugars (300 to 400 mg/dl [16.7 to 22.2 mmol/L]), and the following day asked me to fill out a form for the doctor about her pay. Her blood sugars were even higher and I suggested her insulin had gone bad. Finally, yesterday, she went to the emergency room with a blood sugar of almost 600 mg/dl [33.3 mmol/L]. They gave her insulin, intravenous drips, and dialysis. They told her the dialysis was to remove insulin from her blood. I asked if her kidneys were okay and she said yes. I don't understand why the dialysis. My husband is a molecular biologist and he said that, if they tried to remove the insulin proteins, they might take other hormones as well. Both of us were confused.

Answer:

I am confused, too. I have never heard of this before. I would bet that she may have had some problem, such as a high potassium, or another well known reason, for needing the dialysis.

JTL