Explain the underlying processes that lead to HHNKS or HHS

A 67-year-old African American male presents to the clinic with a chief complaint that he has to “go to the bathroom all the time and I feel really weak.” He states that this has been going on for about 3 days but couldn’t come to the clinic sooner as he went to the Wound Care clinic for a dressing change to his right great toe that has been chronically infected, and he now has osteomyelitis. Patient with known Type II diabetes with poor control. His last HgA1C was 10.2 %. He says he can’t afford the insulin he was prescribed and only takes half of the oral agent he was prescribed. Random glucose in the office revealed glucose of 890 mg/dl. He was immediately referred to the ED by the APRN for evaluation of suspected hyperosmolar hyperglycemic non ketotic syndrome (HHNKS). Also called hyperglycemic hyperosmolar state (HHS).

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