Current diagnosis and treatment of hyperglycemic emergencies

Brian Corwell, Brandi Knight, Laura Olivieri, George C. Willis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state are the most feared complications of uncontrolled diabetes seen in emergency medicine. The treatment of both conditions must be tailored to individual patients and relies on aggressive fluid resuscitation, insulin replacement, and electrolyte management. Emergency medicine providers must address the underlying causes and monitor for complications of therapy. Improved understanding of the underlying pathophysiology and application of evidence-based guidelines have significantly improved prognosis and decreased mortality. The purpose of this article is to review the diagnosis, presentation, and emergency department management of diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state with an emphasis on current management and treatment guidelines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-452
Number of pages16
JournalEmergency Medicine Clinics of North America
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)
  • Electrolyte management
  • Hyperglycemic crisis
  • Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state (HHS)
  • Insulin therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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