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Short-term complications of type 2 diabetes

This promotional module has been initiated, funded and reviewed solely by Boehringer Ingelheim. The content of this industry-supported learning activity has been generated by Practice Nurse.

Links to prescribing information can be found at the foot of this page.




Diabetes is associated with a number of complications of differing duration, complexity and severity that can occur during the management of blood glucose levels. This module is intended to develop understanding of the short term complications of diabetes – 'hypos and hypers' – and their implications for morbidity and mortality.


On completion of this module, you will:

  • Be familiar with the causes, signs, symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state (HHS)
  • Be aware of the significance of DKA in undiagnosed patients, especially children
  • Recognise that DKA and HHS are medical emergencies, which require urgent hospital admission for intensive management
  • Be able to describe the symptoms of hypoglycaemic events, their immediate management, and the minimisation of hypo risk through appropriate prescribing
  • Be able to offer appropriate advice on the prevention of these complications
  • Be familiar with the sick day rules

This module is one of a series of five. Others in the series are:

This resource is provided at an intermediate level. Read the article and answer the self-assessment questions, and reflect on what you have learned.

Complete the resource to obtain a certificate to include in your revalidation portfolio. You should record the time spent on this resource in your CPD log.

Job Code: PC-GB-105043

Date of preparation: July 2022 

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Adverse events should be reported. Reporting forms and information can be found at Adverse events should also be reported to Boehringer Ingelheim Drug Safety on 0800 328 1627 (freephone).