Irish Journal of Medical Science

, Volume 179, Issue 4, pp 585–587

“Dead in bed”: a tragic complication of type 1 diabetes mellitus

Authors

    • Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes MellitusBeaumont Hospital and RCSI Medical School
  • E. P. O’Sullivan
    • Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes MellitusBeaumont Hospital and RCSI Medical School
  • C. Davenport
    • Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes MellitusBeaumont Hospital and RCSI Medical School
  • D. Smith
    • Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes MellitusBeaumont Hospital and RCSI Medical School
Case Report

DOI: 10.1007/s11845-010-0519-x

Cite this article as:
O’Reilly, M., O’Sullivan, E.P., Davenport, C. et al. Ir J Med Sci (2010) 179: 585. doi:10.1007/s11845-010-0519-x

Abstract

“Dead in bed” is a tragic description of a particular type of sudden death in type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM). Patients are typically found dead in the early morning, lying in an undisturbed bed, having been well the previous evening. The incidence of “dead in bed” syndrome is not known but studies suggest figures of between 4.7 and 27.3% of all unexplained deaths in type 1 DM. The pathogenesis is unclear but patients typically have a preceding history of recurrent severe hypoglycaemia. We describe two cases of “dead in bed” syndrome which occurred at our institution within a 12-month period.

Keywords

HypoglycaemiaAutonomic neuropathyType 1 diabetes mellitus

Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2010