First aid basics – hypoglycaemia pt.2

Although in many cases low blood sugar, or hypoglycaemia, can be quite harmless and easy to treat, it can be very dangerous in certain situations. In the first part of this guide, we looked at how to spot the signs of hypoglycaemia. Now let’s look at how to treat the condition, ideally using first aid training.

Treating low blood sugar

If you think someone has hypoglycaemia, the first aid basics to remember include the following:

  • You need to raise blood sugar levels – you can do this by giving the person a sugary drink or sweet food, or a glucose gel if the person has it with them. You should only do this if the person’s consciousness is unimpaired, as if they are slipping into unconsciousness they won’t be able to swallow it properly.
  • Help the person to sit or lie down, ensuring they get plenty of rest
  • If they don’t feel fully recovered after a rest and a sugar boost, advise the person to see their doctor
  • If the condition of the person doesn’t improve, you should call an ambulance
  • If the person falls unconscious, you need to perform CPR. You can learn how to do this by taking first aid training, but you should be checking the person’s pulse and airways and carrying out chest compressions and rescue breaths if necessary, until the emergency services can arrive.