Diabetes Mellitus Q 23 - Gyan Darpan : Learning Portal
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Friday 8 April 2022

Diabetes Mellitus Q 23

A client is in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) secondary to infection. As the condition progresses, which of the following symptoms might the nurse see?
    A. Kussmaul’s respirations and a fruity odor on the breath
    B. Shallow respirations and severe abdominal pain
    C. Decreased respiration and increased urine output
    D. Cheyne-stokes respirations and foul-smelling urine

Correct Answer: A. Kussmaul’s respirations and a fruity odor on the breath

Coma and severe acidosis are ushered in with Kussmaul’s respirations (very deep but not labored respirations) and a fruity odor on the breath. Kussmaul’s breathing, which is labored, deep, and tachypneic, may occur. Some providers may appreciate a fruity scent to the patient’s breath, indicative of the presence of acetone.

Option B: The patient with diabetic ketoacidosis may present with a myriad of symptoms and physical exam findings. Patients may have symptoms of hyperglycemia like polyphagia, polyuria, or polydipsia. If there is a superimposed infection that triggered the episode of DKA, the patient may have other infectious symptoms like fever, cough, or other urinary symptoms.
Option C: As patients become more volume-depleted, they may experience decreased urine output, dry mouth, or decreased sweating indicative of dehydration. They may complain of many other symptoms, including anorexia, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and weight loss.
Option D: On examination, vital signs typically reveal tachycardia and tachypnea. Due to the possibility of an infectious trigger for DKA, the patient may be febrile or hypothermic. Blood pressure may also vary, though hypotension is possible and indicative of a more severe disease process.

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