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September 9, 1950


Author Affiliations


From the George F. Baker Clinic, New England Deaconess Hospital, Boston.

JAMA. 1950;144(2):86-88. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02920020006002

Are alkalis, plasma transfusions and potassium preparations necessary in the treatment of severe diabetic coma if adequate insulin dosage and isotonic saline solution are promptly given? Simplification of methods and avoidance of delay in diagnosis and treatment are essential. We might almost have been persuaded of the value of alkaline solutions of bicarbonate or lactate by a recent instructive report by Duncan1 of a case of severe coma, had not the patient, recently treated at the Deaconess Hospital, exemplified recovery without the use of alkali, transfusions or potassium preparations.

REPORT OF A CASE  Mrs. B. F., aged 31 years, entered the New England Deaconess Hospital in a diabetic coma at midnight Nov. 12, 1949. The onset of diabetes mellitus was in 1927, when she was 9 years old, and insulin therapy was started then. Her only child was born in 1942. Her usual daily dose was 40 units of

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