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A member asked:

I have an 83 yr old diabetic alzheimer's patient takes 70 ml insulin daily and has done so tonight.blood sugar is 583. she takes lasix for water retention but seems to be retaining fluids.she also has a uti and is taking cipro for that condition.her mobi

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Andrius Baskys
Dr. Andrius Baskysanswered
Geriatric Psychiatry 48 years experience
Your : Your idea to transfer this lady to the er is the right one. Her confusion most likely is a sign of delirium caused by a medical problem. Treating the medical problem is the only option.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Alvin Lin
Geriatrics 32 years experience
Dr. : Dr. Baskys makes an excellent point in that delirium is a medical emergency that must be treated. Her water retention could be from kidney failure, heart failure or both. At the very least, i suspect kidney failure because she has diabetes. Her shallow & labored breathing could be due to pulmonary edema from fluid backing up into her lungs. The lack of oxygen could make her confused, as could an infection. Some other thoughts to ponder: does she have a living will? Who is her durable healthcare power of attorney? Has she or her family discussed or considered hospice? By taking her to the hospital, you're asking us to doing everything we can to "cure' her which may include putting her on a breathing machine and making life very uncomfortable for her. Hospice, on the other hand, focuses on caring for someone and their family as they approach the end of life. I can't tell from what you've mentioned whether she's a candidate or not, but she very well may be. Ask her family physician or geriatrician for guidance and appropriate referral. Good luck!
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Oct 4, 2016
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