A 5-year retrospective study of Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) patients was conducted at the Ospital ng Maynila from January, 1989 to December, 1993. Data collected were age of the patient, sex, chief complaints, clinical manifestations, laboratory results, and outcome. Results were tabulated and computed for statistical analysis All patients with a diagnosis of DKA were reviewed and 40 cases during the 5-year period were recorded. Of these 40 cases, 37 patients records were retrieved. The average range of age at the time of diagnosis is between 50-60 years old. There was male predilection. DM was newly diagnosed in 40.5% of the subjects. Only 1 patient was taking insulin, the rest were taking oral hypoglycemic agents. Background diabetic retrinopathy was noted on funduscopy. Twenty-five (67.5%) of cases reviewed revealed metabolic acidosis on ABG. Body weakness was the predominant chief complaint. Dehydration was noted as the foremost major clinical finding. Blood sugar levels range from 300-500 mg/dl. Urinary ketones range from +2 to +4. The mean serum potassium at diagnosis was 3.8 mmol/l. Infections, particularly UTI and Pneumonia, were the precipitating causes for the DKA. The overall mortality rate was 13.5% (5 out of 37).
DKA is a readily diagnosed and easily treated but catastrophic medical emergency. Early recognition and prompt treatment will tilt the balance in favor of better patient survival. (Author)