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May 26, 2001

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Detroit, Michigan, USA:

We had a child abuse situation that we responded to in which a five year old male had been physically abused by a family member. His blood sugar was 575 mg/dl [31.9 mmol/L] by meter, and he had no history of diabetes. The explanation that I received from the Emergency Room physician about his elevated blood sugar was that this was caused by stress. Is this possible?


From: DTeam Staff

Anything is possible, but it would be a bigger stress than I have ever seen. Certainly 200s [mg/dl; 11.1 mmol/L], but I haven’t personally seen a 575 mg/dl [31.9 mmol/L]. Usual questions, include the accuracy of the meter, the glucose in the ER, etc. Last but not least, what happened? He needs to be monitored a while to be sure this isn’t diabetes.