Diabetes is a chronic disease that can affect the person’s ability to live a normal life. The most common complications that arise from the condition is the reasons why the mortality rate in diabetes occurs and this includes stroke, infection, gangrene, heart disease and poor wound healing. Knowing the proper first aid management for these diabetes complications can help prevent the more serious conditions that could worsen the presence of diabetes mellitus. The diabetes complications are usually caused by the poor blood sugar levels in the body. Here are some of the complications that may arise from diabetes and the proper management techniques for each.
The material posted on this page on diabetic complications and management is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage diabetic emergencies including hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia enrol in a first aid and CPR course today (click here to find a provider near you)
Management of coronary artery disease
A coronary artery disease involves the hardening of the coronary arteries due to the accumulation of fatty deposits along the arterial walls. As a result of the arteries hardening, the heart will have difficulty in pumping the blood for better circulation, making a person prone to heart attack and angina. If a diabetic person suffers from a sudden heart attack, make sure to call 911 immediately. A heart attack can be fatal once proper medical treatment is not given promptly. If the person isn’t breathing begin CPR immediately until help arrives. To prevent the complication of coronary artery disease, advise the person to avoid smoking because nicotine can further harden the arterial walls.
Management of a poor blood supply to the leg and feet
It is common for diabetic persons to suddenly experience intermittent claudication, a condition of having difficulty in walking long distances because of a sudden pain on the leg and feet. This occurs because of poor blood supply to the lower extremities due to poor circulation that is common among diabetics. In order to manage intermittent claudication as one of the most common diabetes complications, help the person to sit or lie down comfortably to relax until the pain subsides. As the patient to do some pumping movements with the feet on an upward and downward movement. This will help aid the blood circulation in the leg.
Management of leg ulcers among diabetics
Due to poor wound healing, diabetics are likely to experience the development of a wound ulcer. The first aid treatment for wounds among diabetics is to keep the wound clean, apply antiseptic to prevent infection and cover the wound with a dressing. Wounds are also painful and you can help relieve pain through medications.
Emergency diabetic complications
It is important to take the person immediately to a hospital when diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar coma and hypoglycaemic coma occurs.
UptoDate. Patient information: Preventing complications in diabetes mellitus. Retrieved on June 13, 2014 from http://www.uptodate.com/contents/preventing-complications-in-diabetes-mellitus-beyond-the-basics