Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a type of diabetes that occurs when the body has a low insulin production leading to the build-up of glucose and ketones in a person’s blood system (Laffel, 1999). The low insulin levels result in an upsurge of unused glucose in the body since insulin is responsible for the conversion of glucose into energy (Alberti, 1977; Dong et al., 2017). The disease is fatal; if it is not handled correctly and on time, a patient might die (Foster and McGarry, 1983). It is then up to the medical staff, most importantly, nurses, to help save the life of a patient who is DKA positive (Benoit, 2018).
What are the notable DKA symptoms and how a nurse can assess them?
What kind of tests will be done to confirm that a patient is suffering from DKA?
What is the nurse’s role in caring for an admitted patient?
A patient suffering from diabetes ketoacidosis will show the following symptoms (Patil and Musaad, 2019):
High blood glucose levels;
Tiredness, sluggishness, or weakness;
Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pains;
Flushed, hot, dry skin;
Rapid, deep breathing, and shortness of breath;
Excessive thirst and frequent urination;
A fruit scented breath.