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When in doubt...glucagon?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by bnmom, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. bnmom

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    I love emma's thread about helping train her friends to give glucagon shots...I didn't know it was ok to give the shot thru clothing or that air bubbles didn't matter - learn something new everyday!

    But I have a question and didn't want to hijack her thread (and still not sure what constitutes 'hijacking' so just to be safe I'm posting new)

    What happens if you give the glucagon shot and it's not needed?

    We haven't had any really scary situations yet...but if my son is nonresponsive or seizing or something really scary...do I just automatically go with the glucagon?

    Or would it hurt him if I gave him glucagon and low sugar wasn't the problem?
     
  2. mamamccoy87

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    I think it would be better to air on the side of caution and give the glucagon esp if they are unresponsive and seizing. High sugar can be corrected, low sugar can kill. :eek:
     
  3. mathcat

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    After Glucagon is used, you have to make sure to build up the store of glycogen in the liver. So, after glucagon is used, there is a window in which the glucagon again may not be of much help. But, the two times my child has had a seizure, I was ready to use it. The first time, the glucagon was used with no ill effects. The second time, he started coming out of it before the glucagon would have been used so we switched to juice. Both seizures ended up being due to undiagnosed-at-the-time epilepsy but I have no regrets over immediately going to the glucagon. I do recommend testing IMMEDIATELY after the glucagon while my son's endo recommends testing right before the glucagon.

    Now I think I will test first (no seizures since the epilepsy was diagnosed - he is on medication) but as soon as the epilepsy diagnosis is gone, I will go right back to the plan of giving glucagon first and testing later. I fully agree that high blood sugar can be corrected. Low blood sugar is not something to wait around with.
     
  4. Jacob'sDad

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    You're darn right you go with the glucagon. Call 911 as well. Better yet have someone else call 911 while you're giving the glucagon.

    And no it won't hurt him. He might get high BG, a headache or a little nauseous. That stuff you can deal with.
     
  5. Lee

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    We were told to give it when in doubt. It does not do the body physical harm - but you do need to run them higher for two days to restore the glycogen in the liver.

    The only other thing is they will puke. Also, we were told to give glucagon, roll on side, then test - and to NOT give it through clothes.
     
  6. emm142

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    Were you given a reason as to why it couldn't be given through clothes. I can't imagine it would be that easy to try and take clothing off to do the shot, especially if the person was having a seizure.

    I've told my friends that if I'm unconscious or seizing they should do the shot, and if I'm acting weirdly they should tell me firmly that I need to eat some glucose.
     
  7. thebestnest5

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    I would not hesitate to use glucagon or mini doses of glucagon. It is FAST (when there are glycogen stores) and I want BG up fast to a safe range.

    I see glucagon as a tool--NOT as something to ONLY use for the most dire circumstances. Non-D bodies use glucagon to keep BG in check.


    I have given glucagon more than once to my DD. She was very low and not wanting to take any more sugar. I pulled 30 units (in an 31 gauge insulin syringe) and it brought her to a 90 mg/dl in 5 minutes. She did not get nauseous and she did not vomit. I ONLY wish I would have given it sooner and not tried to keep giving her sugary drinks.
    http://www.childrenwithdiabetes.com/d_0j_20w.htm

    I have never had a situation when she was unconscious, but I would definitely call 911, immediately after injecting glucagon, or tell someone else to call when I realize I am going to give glucagon.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
  8. thebestnest5

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    I've been told more than once that giving an injection through clothes is not preferred--but in an emergency it's something that can be done.
     
  9. denise3099

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    I can't imagine why since some ppl even give insulin through clothes. And you can give an epipen through clothes. Although I guess the "prefered" method is wipe with alcohol, let dry, shoot, hold, but when was the last time I used alcohol to give a shot? :eek: We lasted 2 days at home using the prefered method. I don't think it's the clothes so much as the standard medical legal, "This is how you give a shot" routine. In real life I would not hesitate to go through clothes.

    It's like the epi-pen, It won't hurt if you don't need it, but if you need it and don't take it you could die. And there are side-effects to both but neither is life-threatening even if not strictly needed. I can't wait for a pen to come out for gluc.
     
  10. bnmom

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    Oh gosh, thank you guys. The 1st day in the hospital, the doctor was reassuring me that diabetes was manageable, we just had to adjust, etc...

    So just as I was beginning to breathe again and think 'ok, we can handle this'...along comes the diabetic educator who holds up the glucagon shot and nonchalantly throws out 'When you find him nonresponsive or unconscious, you'll need to use this...' (not IF, but WHEN!)

    Possibly just poor choice of words on her part, but the result is that I've just been waiting on pins and needles and wondering how long till I find him that way...and the best course of action when I do.

    As with sooo many other things - thank you to this forum for helping me understand and be prepared.
     
  11. thebestnest5

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    I just googled the question, and glucagon can be given through clothing.
     
  12. sam1nat2

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    We just had our 5 year anniversary this week. Have not had any scary incidents. In fact, I need to get the glucagon refilled as we have never used it.

    My fil I think has had to use it once in over 20 years.

    It may be helpful to people to have a sticky on glucagon experiences. From what I've read on this board, its more often used to stomach flu and persistent lows than anything else.
     
  13. thebestnest5

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    The times that I have used glucagon for my DD, I would not have absolutely had to use it. But, I am glad I did. I see it more as a tool, and not as an avoid at all possible costs item.
     
  14. denise3099

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    lol, you poor thing! No it does not happen every time you turn around. I've been at it 4 yrs and have never had to use it. But as someone said, even if you don't HAVE to use it, there may be times when you want to, just to bring up a stubborn low or if they can't keep anything down, in which case you'd do a mini-dose with a regular syringe, not the included harpoon that comes with it. the minidose instructions are on this site
    http://www.childrenwithdiabetes.com/d_0j_20w.htm

    I too had the great experience of the nurse putting this box of stuff down and saying not to look inside, and then she left to get something so of course, I look inside and nearly passed out cold when I saw all these needles and tubes of stuff and supplies I couldn't identify! She saw my face when she came back and said, "You looked inside!" That gluc kit is super scary looking!
     
  15. thebestnest5

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    We had an opposite.

    Our CDE at dx, told us that us that we would likely never need glucagon. We'd always be able to treat a low with something to eat/drink. And, the only person she ever knew who had to use glucagon was a middle-aged person with Type 2. She didn't think we'd really even need a script for it.:eek:
     
  16. hawkeyegirl

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    We would have no reason to assume that a seizure or unconsciousness was anything BUT a severe low, so I would automatically use glucagon in those situations. I keep a regular syringe in our gluc cases, because I have no interest in using that harpoon in a panicky situation.
     
  17. wildemoose

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    I've been T1 for nearly 18 years and have never used glucacon once. Neither of my brothers (both T1) have ever needed it either. I do keep an unexpired kit in the house (when I think to refill the prescription), and I do take it with me when I travel, just for peace of mind, but it's never been used. I hope that's at least a little reassuring to you.
     
  18. liasmommy2000

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    I am in the camp if you think it's needed, go for it.

    Five years now and we have not used it. Looking back there were a few times in the first year or two when she had tummy bugs and I wish I had known about/used the mini glucagon. But she's never had a seizure or been unconscious. There were a few times when she was very low and we were waiting for juice/tabs etc to work and I had it right next to me just in case. But we haven't had to.

    When I'm training others (school/child care staff etc) I tell them we have never used it yet, it's NOT common but they MUST know how to use it if needed.
     
  19. SarahKelly

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    I've posted this before and I don't mean for it to be for debate, just what worked for us and how we handle things: Isaac had a seizure shortly after starting pumping, his settings were too high and we were checking him every two hours along with him still honeymooning. So, one night we checked him and he was a 350, double checked with newly cleaned hands, corrected, set the alarm for two hours and went back to bed, we woke up to him screaming and then having a seizure. My husband ran to kitchen (just down the hall) and got the glucagon ready in the meantime I squirted a tube of frosting in his mouth between his teeth and cheek while I held him upright singing to him. By the time my husband got back and had the needle ready with the 2 units of glucagon Isaac's body had stopped seizing and things were calmed down. We didn't use it. I'd do it all the same again. So, for us we ALWAYS have small tubes of frosting available with their tips precut AND a current glucagon kit with a small needle attached to it available. ALWAYS. My husband had been dx with t1d for over 20 yrs when Isaac was dx and he scoffed at how he'd NEVER needed the emergency shot, but now he makes no comment when we pack it everywhere.
    I am also thankful for the knowledge of how to use it for mini-doses in times of illness in order to keep the BG up and be able to administer insulin to get rid of ketones. I think that is something that the CDE should have taught me at dx or sometime soon after so that I wasn't so fearful of the what-ifs with stomach flus.
    And BTW we were told that calling 911 for a low induced seizure wasn't necessary, but to come in within 24hrs by our endo team. I was thankful to not have to rush to the ER after that event that completely rocked my world in terms of feeling that t1d was "manageable".
     
  20. bnmom

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    Is the 'frosting' you guys refer to those tubes of Oral Glucose Gel the hospital put in our take home box?
     

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