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Question:

From Madison, Wisconsin, USA:

To your knowledge, what is the highest blood sugar level ever recorded in a living human being?

Answer:

There's a Letter to the Editor of Diabetes Care in the February, 1990 issue (on page 181-2) that seems to set the record:

5600 mg/dl (311.3 mmol/L)

The authors describe a 29 year old man with undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes, who had been previously healthy. The day before admission to the hospital, he drank 12 liters of Coca-Cola, six cans of pineapple juice with sugar, several liters of orange juice, and sugared water. He attributed his thirst to hot weather.

On the day of admission, he was found unconscious in his apartment; "paramedics infused 50 ml of 50% dextrose." At the Emergency Room, he was "deeply comatose" and severely dehydrated. After lab tests were drawn, he got another 50 ml of 50% dextrose! He gradually improved over the next few days with fluids and insulin, and was discharged with "no neurologic deficits."

(The authors comment that "given the ease and rapidity of glucose estimation by reagent strips, the practice of indiscriminate administration of dextrose to comatose patients should, in our opinion, be discouraged." I agree.)

WWQ

Original posting 13 Jul 97

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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