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It was world Diabetes day this week so we thought that it would be a timely reminder about the condition from a first aid perspective.

Diabetes affects 3,9 million people in the UK alone. Diabetes is relatively common now and irrespective of the type of diabetes it is all about how much sugar is in the casualty’s blood.

Too much sugar in the blood is a bad thing , as is too little, we need just the right amount.

The World Diabetes Day Campaign this year planned to raise the awareness of the impact that diabetes has on the family and to promote the role of the family in the management, care, prevention and education of the condition.


There are three main areas to focus upon;




Did you Know?

One in every two people with diabetes is undiagnosed.  Early diagnosis and treatment is key to helping prevent or delay life-threatening complications.

If type 1 diabetes is not detected early, it can lead to serious disabilities or even death.  Knowing the signs and symptoms of the condition can help protect yourself and your family.

Would you recognise the signs of a diabetic high or low?

Diabetes results in an imbalance of the levels of sugar in the blood.  Commonly we see hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar levels) and occasionally we see hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar levels).  Non-diabetic can also experience low blood sugar levels in certain circumstances.

HYPERglycaemia HYPOglycaemia
Amount of insulin used Not enough Too Much
Deterioration Gradual Very quick
Hunger Absent Present
Vomiting Common Uncommon
Thirst Present Absent
Breath odour Fruity/sweet Normal
Pulse Rapid and weak Rapid
Breathing Rapid Normal
Skin Dry and warm Pale, cold and sweaty
Seizures Uncommon Common
Consciousness Drowsy Rapid loss

How To Treat Diabetic Conditions:


◦Call for an ambulance

◦If unconscious – recovery position

◦Monitor breathing and response levels



◦Sit the casualty down

◦Sugary drink

◦Sweet food

◦Monitor and reassure

◦Call ambulance if ineffective

◦If unconscious – recovery position and monitor


If you would like to know more about our first aid courses in the Thirsk, Northallerton or Ripon areas please get in touch.

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