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to think shops and cafes should give free sugery drinks to diabetic people in emergency situations?

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ikeaismylocal Sat 19-Jul-14 12:47:12

I saw a mum with 3 children having what looked like the beginnings of a fit at a shopping centrer today, everyone else was walking past ignoring her ( whole other thread) I stopped and tried to talk to her but she was very confused and kept trying to tell me her mobile number. I ran into a shop and asked them to call an ambulance ( I had no phone or money, dp had all my things in ds's pushchair and I was meeting him at the car, I'd stopped to go to the toilet)

Her children were about 6 months, 2 and 5, the poor 5 year old was terrified and wouldn't say anything but I chatted to her and told her everything would be ok and after a while she told me her mum was diabetic.

I ran to the nearest cafe and explained there was a diabetic woman who needed a sugary drink and could I have a coke and come back and pay after as I had no money, the lady gave me a coke and I ran back, the diabetic mum drank the coke but was still shaking and sluring her words, I ran back to the cafe and explained and asked for another coke, the lady said no she wouldn't give me anything as I hadn't paid, I'm 7 months pregnant so running isn't something I look at ease doing, I also don't think I look like a kid trying to get some free coke.

I went to a shop further away and they gave me 2 cans of coke. The diabetic lady recovered quite quickly once she had drunk the coke.

Aibu to think that shops and cafes should give free sugery drinks if they are needed?

WorraLiberty Sat 19-Jul-14 12:50:41

I don't know really.

I found a diabetic man collapsed in the street and when I called an ambulance, they told me not to ask anyone to give him something sugary...because sometimes it can do more harm than good.

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 19-Jul-14 12:51:13

Well done for helping.

Can I make a suggestion though if theirs ever us a next time ask for orange juice (pure is possible) as stuff like coke is more artificial sweetener than anything.

adsy Sat 19-Jul-14 12:51:16

to be fair she did give you one free drink. How was she to know you were telling the truth.
Did you not check the lady's bag for food. All the diabetics I know carry emergency mars bars/ sugary drinks etc.

adsy Sat 19-Jul-14 12:52:33

Good point Worra she could have been hypo rather than hyper ( or is that the other way round!)

scottishmummy Sat 19-Jul-14 12:53:03

Well done on your interventions
It's not that straightforward though,if you work retail,it's not norm to handover ginger on demand
I'd hope the centre had 1st aided who'd respond appropriately,or way to promptly raise alarm

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 19-Jul-14 12:54:24

On my first aid course we were told to give a sugary drink for both hyper & hypo (plus call ambulance) as the sugar would help one & the fluid the other.

I have a diabetic student who carries an emergency pack but we have a protocol in place & she tests her bloods if there are any signs.

KateBeckett Sat 19-Jul-14 12:56:02

worra I have taught a few diabetic children, so have had training on hat o do in a hypo situation- if the person is still conscious, giving a sugary drink and calling an ambulance would be the right course of action; if they are unconscious then you are right to not give anything and just call an ambulance.

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 19-Jul-14 12:56:12

I helped a diabetic man in Asda the other week oddly enough. He didn't have an emergency drink/chocolate on him.

The first auder dealt with him (via the pharmacy). In a smaller independent shop I'd expect people to go what they could.

WorraLiberty Sat 19-Jul-14 12:59:21

Ahh that makes sense Kate. The guy was pretty much unconscious for ages and then started to come round, and slip away again.

JohnFarleysRuskin Sat 19-Jul-14 13:00:21

Friend works in the waitrose cafe- she says ever since they introduced the free drink (so no more free biscuit) the number of people who've asked for a biscuit because they are diabetic is ridiculous!

KnitterInTheNW Sat 19-Jul-14 13:02:07

I've been diabetic since I was 3. Normally I get warning signs when my sugar is going low and I can remedy it easily. Occasionally it sort of creeps up on me, and the confusion makes it difficult to realise what's going on, so can't easily grab something to eat/drink.

The advice for the collapsed man was right, if he was unconcious he might have choked on whatever you tried to give him to eat.

Fresh orange juice is better than coke if there's an option. Or even a glass of milk with some sugar stirred in - but only if the person is able to drink it safely! You may need to hold the cup for them as they will be very shaky.

ohdearitshappeningtome Sat 19-Jul-14 13:02:18

Fresh orange and then a sandwich as the carbohydrate helps the sugar maintain!

Hope the mum was ok

ikeaismylocal Sat 19-Jul-14 13:04:08

My ex was diabetic, we were together for 7 years so I'm pretty good at spotting a hypo rather than high blood sugar although my first thought was that she was epileptic, my ex did have fits due to low sugar but only when he was sleeping. His diabetic nurse advised me to give him sugery drinks if he was conscious and able to sit up, never dextrose tablets or sweets if he looked like he was on the brink of a seizure as that could cause choking, when he was fitting I'd rub glucose gell into his gums.

I feel bad that the little girl telling me her mum was diabetic before I realised.

The woman had bought some dextrose tablets but they had fallen off her pushchair.

A can of coke must cost a cafe about 30 pence at the most, if I worked in a shop and the same thing happened I'd give the person the coke and if I was worried about the cost I'd pay for it out of my own pocket, it can't happen that often surely.

The other thing she could have done is left the cafe and helped, there were 2 other people working and it was nearly empty.

Goblinchild Sat 19-Jul-14 13:04:53

I'd worry that the swoman was mis-managing her diabetes so badly and in charge of three small children. I wonder why she had no emergency supplies on her, why she failed to recognise what was happening.
She tried to give you her mobile number?
Did you check her mobile for an ICE number?

kitesfoorever Sat 19-Jul-14 13:10:16

Yabu, did you actually go back and pay for the coke as promised? how were they to know what to do?

scottishmummy Sat 19-Jul-14 13:11:47

IKEA,it's not the shop responsibility to manage the diabetes,it's the adults
And no working in retail,it's not as easy as hand over few cans coke
You've done really hope a centre had a 1st aider and plan.not random run to shop

ikeaismylocal Sat 19-Jul-14 13:20:35

IKEA,it's not the shop responsibility to manage the diabetes,it's the adults

If you think of it like that I shouldn't have helped, we should have all walked on by and left a woman to fall unconscious or fit with her 3 children watching just because it isn't our responsibility.

I have 1 child and I very regularly forget nappies/wipes/phone/keys/snacks, I'm sure with 3 small children it's very easy to forget to pack uppers for yourself, she actually had bough dextrose tablets but she'd put them on the hood of her pram and they'd fallen off.

Some security guards came, the shopping center is huge so it took some time, they said they would sort out the cost of the coke with the cafe. I would have paid otherwise.

scottishmummy Sat 19-Jul-14 13:28:27

That's not what I said,it's the adult responsibility it manage it.but I appreciate things happen unexpectedly
You're asking that shops have a policy of drinks on demand for all potential situations?
That's not realistic,and again I'd query the 1st aider role.

RandallFloyd Sat 19-Jul-14 13:28:50

Really, Goblinchild? Really?
Are you often so judgmental about things you so clearly know less than nothing about?

YANBU, OP, but tbh I can see their side too. For every genuine emergency there are probably countless chancers ready to take advantage. It's sad but true.

Good on you for helping her though.

DinoSnores Sat 19-Jul-14 13:28:58

"I'd worry that the swoman was mis-managing her diabetes so badly and in charge of three small children. I wonder why she had no emergency supplies on her, why she failed to recognise what was happening."

That's incredibly judgemental, goblinchild, and shows that you have no idea about the reality of living with diabetes!

Perhaps she was in early pregnancy when hypo awareness takes a real dive.

Perhaps she has excellent diabetes control so runs very tight blood sugars to reduce her chances of complications and to reduce her chance of dying in the near future, but on this occasion got caught out by not eating enough breakfast/the hot weather/chasing a runaway child and not eating a snack to counter act things.

The people who do "mis-manage" their diabetes are often the ones with constantly high blood sugars who have no risk of a hypo, let alone a severe one, any time soon!

She did have dextrose tablets but the OP states that they had fallen off her pushchair. Perhaps she has stuff in her handbag/nappy bag as well but her hypo meant that she was unable to remember where they were.

For anyone more sympathetic reading this, ikea did totally the right thing.

If you think someone is diabetic and unwell and able to eat/drink, give them something like a small carton of fresh orange juice, a small can of coke, dextrose sweets, even jelly babies.

If they can't eat or drink, don't give them anything as they could choke and call an ambulance. They'll have an injection that they can give the patient.

If the person subsequently is discovered to have been unwell due to a high blood sugar, you still haven't done anything wrong. A high blood sugar that gets a bit worse due to some orange juice is not going to make them any worse in the next 20 minutes (although they might well need urgent medical help). A low blood sugar getting lower can cause fits and even death.

scottishmummy Sat 19-Jul-14 13:35:30

Your individual act was quick thinking well done,
but that doesn't mean retailers must hand out items on demand

Goblinchild Sat 19-Jul-14 13:56:07

Ah, I do have a great deal of personal experience of living with type 1 diabetes, and of helping children manage their own type one or twoo diabetes in school.
And yes, I do judge those who appear to not have thought ahead, especially if they are in charge of very small children. But go ahead and make that wild leap, tell me that I Know Nothing and blame the shops for not handing out multiple freebies to passing members of the public.
I wonder if there'll be a helpful member of the public available to assist the next time it happens, and the next.

scottishmummy Sat 19-Jul-14 14:03:37

Goblinchild,is right the responsibility is with the adult to manage and plan around diabetes
I accept of course things go awry.nonetheless the principle is self management
And adults teach that to children,a graded age appropriate way to manage a condition

Oblomov Sat 19-Jul-14 14:13:32

As a type 1 diabetic, diabetic since aged 1, so 40 years, I am very saddened.

Well done OP, you sound so caring.

I will report done if the other comments, when I go back to my dafne hart hypo unawareness course, of which I am one of 6 people, only , in the uk , to have participated in.


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