Papers And Originals

Diabetic Ketoacidosis During the Influenza Epidemic

Br Med J 1970; 4 doi: (Published 10 October 1970) Cite this as: Br Med J 1970;4:89
  1. P. J. Watkins,
  2. N. G. Soler,
  3. M. G. Fitzgerald,
  4. J. M. Malins


    During eight weeks of a recent influenza epidemic 29 patients with ketoacidosis were admitted to the General Hospital, Birmingham. This was an exceptionally large number of cases. Of these, 14 had complained of a cough, nine had clinical evidence of respiratory infection, and four extensive bronchopneumonia. Hypokalaemia was present on admission in several instances and caused respiratory failure and death in three patients. Since the dangers of initial hypokalaemia are increased during the treatment of ketoacidosis, especially when sodium bicarbonate is used, serum potassium levels must be estimated initially and, if necessary, potassium chloride given intravenously at more frequent intervals than usual.