Diabetic coma is just as much of an emergency as acute appendicitis or an incarcerated hernia and, as in the latter condition, with every hour that passes without treatment the chances of life decrease. It is early intervention that counts.
What is coma? Is it due entirely to a progressive rise of blood sugar from any cause? These are questions often asked by patients.
While a rise of blood sugar usually accompanies coma, it is not a cause of coma. The blood sugar may be 300 or 400 mg. per hundred cubic centimeters,1 or it can be as high as 1,710 mg. per hundred cubic centimeters.2 It may even be normal. There is no level of blood sugar which is pathognomonic of coma, as may be seen by an examination of table 1.
Is coma the result of intoxication with acetone bodies?
As clinical observations indicate, and as Allen