Why is first aid so important?
Because you could say a life!
Many type 1 diabetics hold a diabetic ID on them to identify themselves, however, you should still be aware of the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia (a hypo)
Not all these symptoms need to be present at the one time:
- Severe thirst
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dizziness and loss of coordination
- Erratic and argumentative behaviour
- Rapid loss of consciousness if not treated promptly
- Pale or sweaty skin
- Appearing drunk when not
- Extreme tiredness and loss of concentration
What can you do in an emergency? The basics.
Situation 1 - The guy/girl who is type 1 diabetic is unconscious
It is common for those with type 1 diabetes to be unconscious. If this is the case, support them on their side and call for an ambulance on 111. Under no circumstance should you give them anything to eat or drink, as this will significantly increase the risk of choking.
Situation 2 - The person is conscious, give them some sugar
If the person is fully conscious and they are able to safely swallow without the risk of choking, then give them a highly sweetened drink such as Lucozade, full sugar coke or Fanta etc. Most type 1 diabetics will have sugar they are carrying with them, check their handbag and pockets and if they are carrying sweets, give them, or if they are carrying glucogel, rub it onto their gums– an improvement usually occurs within 10-15 minutes.
Wait 10-15 minutes to make sure the person isn’t dropping again, by this stage they should be able to control themselves. Medical advice should still be obtained as further deterioration could occur depending on the cause of the hypo in the first place.
If the person hasn't improved after eating sweets or consuming sugary drinks, or they have dropped into an unconscious state, then immediately call for an ambulance.
NEVER ever try to give the person insulin as this can be dangerous and could put them at risk of going into a coma- which is never good.