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October 24, 2002

Hyperglycemia and DKA

Question from Rome, Ohio, USA:

My three year old niece, just diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, had a blood sugar of 900 mg/dl [50 mmol/L] when she was taken to the hospital. Isn't there a possibility of brain damage from the blood sugar being so high? How high is too high?

Answer:

It is unlikely that she had any brain damage done by this episode of high blood sugar. It is important, obviously, to avoid such high blood sugars and follow the directions of the physician in caring for your niece as what her blood sugar should be.

MSB