Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is one of the most dreaded acute complications of diabetes mellitus. It is a medical emergency. When patients with DKA arrive at the emergency department, they are clearly ill, with vomiting, diarrhea, disordered breathing, and mental status changes—even unconsciousness. Up to 2% of patients with DKA may die from the disorder. This means physicians must understand the multistep and complex treatment. Let’s look at what is involved.
After listening to this Audio Brick, you should be able to:
- Define diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and present an overview of the risk factors for DKA.
- Describe the pathophysiology of DKA.
- Describe the presenting signs and symptoms of DKA, and explain how they relate to the pathophysiology.
- Discuss common laboratory findings at presentation and during treatment of DKA.
- Outline management strategies for DKA.
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