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Diabetes - Type 1 Community
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Avatar universal

overdosing on insulin

My best friends father just died last night.  He has diabetes.  No one know how he died.  Could he have given himself or have been given too much or too little insulin through his pump?  Could this have killed him? He had a problem controlling it after dinner, he went to bed and was found later that night dead.   Can anybody answer my quistion?
thank you
4 Responses
Avatar universal
Hello rshell and thank you for posting.  My heart goes out to your friend.  What a tragedy.

I need you to know that I am not a medical professional, but a mother of a 10 yr. old diabetic who was diagnosed at age 3.  My son is on the pump.  

My son has the type of pump that you program information into such as 1 unit of insulin per x amount of carbs, etc.  So, he does not have to do the math.  He simply enters his blood sugar and then enters the amt. of carbs and the pump will figure out how much insulin to give him.  We do have limits set, so he cannot give over a certain amount at one time.  I am not familiar with all pumps.

When you say he had a problem controlling it after dinner, are you saying he was having lows or highs?  

It is my understanding that if a type 1 diabetic has High BG and ketones, they can go into ketoacidosis and if not treated, they can die, however, I do not believe this would happen in a few hours unless the person was not giving insulin all day long OR unless the person had high ketones all day and could not get his BG down, but I still think that unless the BG was over 600 and not registering on the glucometer, that ketoacidosis would not happen in a couple of hours.  (unless no insulin was being given at all)  If I am incorrect, please, anyone comment and enlighten us.

Here is some info. about ketoacidosis:

Ketoacidosis usually develops slowly. But when vomiting occurs, this life-threatening condition can develop in a few hours. The first symptoms are:

Thirst or a very dry mouth
Frequent urination
High blood glucose (sugar) levels
High levels of ketones in the urine
Next, other symptoms appear
Constantly feeling tired
Dry or flushed skin
Nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain (Vomiting can be caused by many illnesses, not just ketoacidosis.  If vomiting continues for more than 2 hours, contact your health care provider.)
A hard time breathing (short, deep breaths)
Fruity odor on breath
A hard time paying attention, or confusion

Below is pertaining to severe Low Blood Sugar
_________________________________________________
I have heard of diabetics going to bed okay and having a severe low during the night and their loved one finding in the moring they had passed away.  This is a horrible thought and I am so sorry to hear about your friend's dad.  I truly am.

Please copy and paste the link below to read about something called "Dead in the Bed Syndrome"  This is what I was taling about when I said having severe low blood sugar during the night.  This might shed some light, but, please remember, I am not a medical professional.  Again, I am SO VERY SORRY for your loss.  
http://www.childrenwithdiabetes.com/d_0n_g00.htm

Warm Regards,
SS

Avatar universal
Hello again, I forgot to mention that, no one knows yet if your friend's father's passing was related to diabetes.  

Did he have any other health problems?  

I just thought of that after I posted.  Please still read the info. on the page of the link I posted.
Avatar universal
Hello...I am so sorry for your loss. I was frightened for the first time going to sleep last night because I was running low and my fiance just got a new job, so he won't be here during the night. I remembered your post. I think your post helped me to realize to be more careful. It's scary, but I did find a way to face the fear and eventually get to sleep (at around 3:30am). I have nine cats. We usually keep them out of the bedroom, but I let them in last night. I have a couple that consistently will wake me up if I start to act funny. I've got one 14 year old cat that yowls in my face until I wake up. Inevitably I discover something amiss. I also checked frequently and ate a pre-bed snack. Does anyone else out there have a furry companion who helps them feel safer? I've seen seizure alert dogs, etc. I guess I have seizure alert cats. I don't gamble and not check and depend on the cats; I check, but they have also caught the surprises. I wish you quick healing in your heart from what has happened...I know it's got to hurt.
Avatar universal
Again, I am so sorry for your (and your friend's) loss.

I have to post in regards to the furry friend thing.

My son and my sister are both type 1's.  My sister does not live with me, but lives nearby.  She had a low episode where her cat got on top of her and gave a little tiny bite to her face to I get her attention.  

She has had other low episodes where her cat would get on her chest and not get off even once when someone was trying to help my sister, her cat was still on her chest!

So, every time during the night when my cat is coming down the hallway towards my room and he is meowing ludly, I always go check on my son because although it may sound strange to some people, you never know.  Sometimes I sleep with my son to alleviate my anxiety, but when I don't, I definitely check on him when Ihear that meow just incase.

I am not trying to make light of your friend's dad's passing.  I am so very sorry for your loss.  Do you have any new information to add?

Warm Regards,
SS
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