News Headlines Article

How the U.S. health-care system puts people with diabetes in danger
The Washington Post

The blood sugar rises, and nausea and vomiting follow. The blood acidifies, the breath hastens, dehydration and then delirium ensue: That’s how ketoacidosis, a feared complication of diabetes, progresses. Diabetic ketoacidosis, which results in nearly 190,000 hospitalizations a year, is a condition I treat frequently as an ICU physician: We infuse intravenous insulin, saline and electrolytes, while carefully tracking sugar levels and blood chemistries and vital signs. If all goes well, the sugar normalizes, acid levels fall, the breath begins to slow, the appetite returns. Not always, however: Every year, hundreds of people die of the condition.