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Beware of undetected hypoglycaemia
  1. Penchala S Mittadodla,
  2. Mohammad Ahmad
  1. Tameside General Hospital, Ashton Under Lyne, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Penchala S Mittadodla, 111 Old Road, Ashton Under Lyne, Lancs OL6 9DB, UK; drpench{at}


Hypoglycaemia leading to altered consciousness level in patients with diabetes is a commonly encountered problem in the emergency department. Prompt diagnosis and the institution of appropriate therapy usually results in a significant improvement in the patient's condition. Capillary blood glucose evaluation is routinely used on patients presenting to the emergency department. However, the limitations of this test are not widely known. This case report draws attention to spuriously normal glucose readings with a capillary blood glucose evaluation device in certain patients who have significant hypoglycaemia confirmed on arterial blood gas analysis and laboratory venous blood analysis.

  • acute medicine—other
  • blood gas analysis
  • blood glucose
  • cardiac care
  • diagnosis
  • fingerstick glucose
  • hypoglycaemia

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.