Glucose level may have disoriented driver - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Glucose level may have disoriented driver

September 7, 2006

Calhoun County -- A man involved in a fiery crash in Calhoun County remains hospitalized in critical condition. His family says the reason he had the wreck is because he is diabetic and was disoriented. 

Sixty-year-old Richard Bell, apparently took a wrong turn on the way from the doctor's office. He was driving west on Highway 264 toward Calhoun County when a police officer saw him weaving.

He turned on his blue lights, but Bell continued down the road. He eventually side-swiped a tractor trailer rig, hit another pickup truck and then his own pickup burst into flames.

Bell was either thrown out or crawled out of the burning wreckage. Bell's family says his blood sugar level had dropped.  

"Often times a police officer will notice somebody kind of swerving on the road and they think that they are intoxicated, pull them over and it's actually a low blood sugar, and they can act that way," said Julie Hayes, RN of the Diabetic Treatment Center.  "They can get very confused and disoriented. The symptoms can progress and you can actually become unconscious."  

A low blood sugar level can cause death. To avoid problems, Julie Hayes of the Diabetic treatment Center says diabetics should always keep a sugar product with them and regularly check their blood sugar, especially when about to operate machinery.

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