Values above 8 percent indicate that a hyperglycemic episode occurred sometime during the window monitored by the test (two to three months beginning four weeks prior to the time of blood collection).
Without effective treatment of the hyperglycemic episode, the child can lapse into a diabetic coma, which sometimes leads to death.
Therefore, hyperglycemic episodes are also noted to be increasing in frequency among young people admitted to hospitals for treatment of diabetes.
Insulin injections, while helping to normalize glucose production, also increase the risk of hypokalemia and abnormally low levels of glucose in the blood (hypoglycemia), the opposite of the hyperglycemic condition being corrected.
In rare instances, a child may have a hyperglycemic episode that is triggered by a stressful situation or a physically challenging situation such as another illness.