Treatment of acute hypocalcemia in critically ill multiple-trauma patients

Roland N Dickerson, Laurie G Morgan, April D Cauthen, Kathryn H Alexander, Martin A Croce, Gayle Minard, Rex O Brown
JPEN. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition 2005, 29 (6): 436-41

BACKGROUND: Recent data indicate that critically ill, adult multiple trauma patients receiving specialized nutrition support commonly experience hypocalcemia (ionized serum calcium [iCa] < or =1.12 mmol/L). However, validated methods for the treatment of acute hypocalcemia are lacking.

METHODS: The efficacy of a single dose of calcium gluconate using an empiric IV calcium gluconate graduated dosing regimen was evaluated in 37 patients. Patients with an iCa of 1-1.12 mmol/L (mild hypocalcemia) were provided 1-2 g of IV calcium gluconate. Patients with an iCa of <1 mmol/L (moderate to severe hypocalcemia) were given 2-4 g. The calcium gluconate was infused at a rate of 1 g/h in a small-volume admixture. Serum iCa determination was repeated on the following day.

RESULTS: One to 2 g of IV calcium gluconate was effective in normalizing iCa for 23 out of 29 patients (79%) with mild hypocalcemia and 2-4 g was effective for 3 of 8 patients (38%) with moderate to severe hypocalcemia. The individual response to calcium therapy (g/d) or when normalized to body weight (mg/kg/d) was highly variable.

CONCLUSIONS: One to 2 g of IV calcium gluconate were effective for most patients with mild hypocalcemia; however, treatment of moderate to severe hypocalcemia with 2-4 g of IV calcium gluconate was often unsuccessful. Further study with frequent serial ionized serum calcium and phosphorus determinations and electrocardiographic monitoring appears to be indicated for patients with moderate to severe hypocalcemia.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"