Objective: The development of diabetic ketoacidosis in pregnancy is a medical emergency, requiring treatment in an intensive care setting. Both the mother and the fetus are at risk for significant morbidity and mortality. Physiologic changes unique to pregnancy provide a background for the development of diabetic ketoacidosis. An understanding of these physiologic changes assists in the management of the two patients being treated. Treatment of the patient with diabetic ketoacidosis includes insulin therapy and careful fluid management; recommendations for management are presented.
Patients: Pregnant women, either with preexisting diabetes or with diabetes diagnosed during pregnancy.
Conclusions: Prompt recognition of the clinical manifestations of diabetic ketoacidosis, followed by appropriate, timely treatment will optimize outcome for the pregnant woman and her fetus.