Avoiding Hospital Stays and Emergency Room Visits

Staying out of the hospital or ER has many benefits!

  • It may help avoid unwanted breaks in your daily routine.
  • It may help keep insurance costs down.
  • You may save money by avoiding co-payments.
  • You may cut down on unpaid days off from work.

Below are the causes for hospital stays and ER visits:

  • Problems from high blood sugar
  • Low blood sugar
  • Poorly controlled diabetes
  • Long-term problems of diabetes that require a lot of treatment

Getting started:

  • Try to keep your blood sugar in range.
  • Check your blood sugar often.
  • Report highs and lows to your doctor.
  • Talk with your health care team regularly.
  • Keep scheduled follow-up visits with your health care team.
  • Call your doctor or diabetes educator about any problems that occur between visits.
  • When you go to the hospital or ER, let your doctor know.
  • Work with your team to develop a plan you can manage.
  • Every patient should work with a diabetes educator and dietitian.
  • This will help you to learn about your medicine, diet, exercise and lifestyle changes.

Preventing problems from high blood sugar:

  • If you have type 1 diabetes, know how to check for Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA).
  • If you are sick, follow sick day guidelines.
  • For people with type 2 diabetes, learn about Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Non-Ketotic Syndrome (HHNKS).

Repeated episodes of DKA indicate a serious problem. This problem must be corrected. Otherwise, you are at risk for long term problems.

Preventing low blood sugar:

  • Ask you doctor what causes low blood sugar.
  • You also need to know how to avoid having low blood sugar.
  • Changes may need to be made to your medicine, meal and exercise plan.
  • You also need to know how alcohol aff ects your blood sugar.
  • If you have type 1 diabetes, learn how exercise affects blood sugar.
  • Discuss with your doctor how to adjust insulin and food for exercise.
  • Check your blood sugar often
  • Learn how to treat low blood sugar.
  • If you have type 1 diabetes, have glucagon on hand.
  • Teach family, friends and co-workers how and when to give glucagon.

How can your doctor help you? These suggestions may help you control your diabetes. In doing so, you may avoid hospital visits. However, if you are very sick you should not wait to seek care.