Should I call 9-1-1 for someone having a diabetic emergency?

Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number if:
  • The person is unconscious or about to lose consciousness. In this situation, do not give the person anything by mouth. After calling 9-1-1 or the local emergency number, care for the person in the same way you would care for an unconscious person. This includes making sure the person’s airway is clear of vomit, checking for breathing, and giving care until advanced medical personnel take over.
  • The person is conscious but unable to swallow. (In this case, do not put anything -- liquid or solid -- into the person’s mouth.)
  • The person does not feel better within about five minutes after taking some form of sugar.
  • You cannot find any form of sugar immediately. Do not spend time looking for it.

Continue Learning about Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.