Justin Delgado is husband to Kacie Doyle-Delgado, diagnosed at age 11. After more than a decade together, he considers himself to be an expert carb counter and Dexcom inserter. He graduated with his Master of Science in Finance from the University of Utah in 2013 and has been working in commercial banking since then. He attended his first Friends for Life conference in 2015 and is looking forward to volunteering with the teens.
January 30, 2001
Hyperglycemia and DKA
Question from Toronto, Ontario, Canada:
When a person with diabetes is in ketoacidosis can there be a false reading of being intoxicated when having to take a breathalyzer test since ketones are an alcohol (or so I've been told)?
With the help of my local laboratory pathologist, we have located two reports in the medical literature which addresses this question. However, there is not a consensus of opinion on the subject. A report in the Journal of Forensic Science in July, 1995 by Jones and Andersson indicates that ketones eliminated in the lungs can be transformed to another compound known as isopropanol. It is the isopropanol which is the agent which interferes the measurement of alcohol in the breath sample. The study was supported by the negative result for ethanol in a blood sample from the same patient.
Another study from Diabetes Medicine in March of 1989 by Slama et al. says there is no cross-reactivity and ketones could not cause a false positive alcohol breath test. As I am not a forensic pathologist, I cannot offer any additional information to the above.