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Altered Mental Status 

Altered Mental Status
Altered Mental Status
Acute Care Casebook

Michelle N. Marin


Altered mental status in a child is a common presenting complaint. One of the more common causes of altered mental status is diabetic ketoacidosis. The change in mental status from this metabolic disorder is thought to be secondary to the cerebral fluid shifts from the underlying hyperglycemia and metabolic acidosis. The only way to correct diabetic ketoacidosis and its associated symptoms like altered mental status is with intravenous fluids, insulin, and electrolyte management. This case describes the care of a child presenting with diabetic ketoacidosis and explains the testing, diagnosis, and key management points focused on subsequent fluid and electrolyte management.

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