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How to identify and manage diabetic ketoacidosis in adults

By Natasha Jacques, BSc, MRPharmS, and Sally James, MSc, MRPharmS

In short

Jim Varney/SPLDiabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a condition in which a lack of insulin leads to hyperglycaemia, ketosis and metabolic acidosis. The symptoms of DKA include thirst, polyuria, confusion, fatigue and nausea.

Treatment of DKA centres around the administration of intravenous fluids (including potassium) and infusions of soluble insulin. 


Natasha Jacques is principal pharmacist for diabetes at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust and Sally James is divisional pharmacist for medicine at Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital NHS Trust. Both authors are committee members of the United Kingdom Clinical Pharmacy Association diabetes group.


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Useful clinical skills are described in this Clinical Pharmacist series.

Comments on this or other articles are welcomed in the form of personal feedback to the editor or correspondence to Clinical Pharmacist. Pharmacists who have ideas for the series or wish to write an article are invited to contact the editor.


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Citation: Clinical Pharmacist URI: 11090855

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