The author of this essay will be discussing a patient with type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and will also be discussing the nursing care that will be received by the patient following a hypoglycaemic attack.
The patient being described is a fictitious seventy year old lady called Mabel Gordon; she lives in a flat in a city centre with her husband Bert. Mabel has had type 2 diabetes for years which has been poorly controlled by medication and diet. Mabel's diabetes has now progressively worsened; she has been commenced on a self-managed insulin therapy plan. She is cared for by the community nursing team and her GP; she attends the regular diabetic clinic. Mabel has no other medical conditions but is currently suffering a cold. On a trip to the chemists Mabel feels unwell, clammy, trembling and confused; the chemist calls Bert and the district nurse. On her arrival the district nurse treats Mabel for a hypoglycaemic attack, to which Mabel responds, but is concerned about Mabel's high temperature, she arranges for Mabel to be admitted to hospital.
Aetiology and Pathophysiology
Diabetes Mellitus has two principle classes, type 1 and type 2; approximately 90% of people with diabetes suffer from type 2, (Burden, 2003a). Type 1 diabetes is characterised by the destruction of the Beta cells. The Islets of Langerhans within the pancreas contain two types of cells, Alpha cells and Beta cells. Alpha cells secrete glucagons and Beta cells secrete insulin hormone. Patients with type 1 diabetes do not have this insulin production often due to the destruction of the Beta cells. Type 1 diabetes is therefore treated with insulin, (insulin was discovered in 1922 by Banting and Best). Type 1 diabetes is a catabolic disorder characterised by a lack of insulin, raised blood glucose levels and a breakdown...