JOURNAL ARTICLE

Safety and efficacy of a graduated intravenous insulin infusion protocol in critically ill trauma patients receiving specialized nutritional support

Roland N Dickerson, Cortney E Swiggart, Laurie M Morgan, George O Maish, Martin A Croce, Gayle Minard, Rex O Brown
Nutrition 2008, 24 (6): 536-45
18403182

OBJECTIVE: The intent of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of our protocol for providing continuous intravenous regular human insulin (RHI) infusion to hyperglycemic critically ill trauma patients receiving specialized nutritional support.

METHODS: Capillary blood glucose (BG) concentrations were determined every 1-2 h. Glucose control was defined as a BG concentration in the target range of 70-149 mg/dL (3.9-8.3 mmol/L). Data were recorded for 1 d before the RHI infusion and for a maximum of 8 d thereafter while receiving the RHI infusion.

RESULTS: Forty adult critically ill trauma patients received 102 +/- 62 units of RHI daily for 10 +/- 6 d. BG control was achieved within 5 +/- 3 h. BG decreased from 194 +/- 55 mg/dL (10.8 +/- 3.1 mmol/L) to 134 +/- 19 mg/dL (7.4 +/- 1.1 mmol/L) after 1 d of RHI infusion (P < 0.001). Average daily BG ranged from 119 to 124 mg/dL and the target range was maintained for 19.6 +/- 4.7 h/d. None of the patients experienced severe hypoglycemia (<40 mg/dL); 14 patients had asymptomatic hypoglycemia (<60 mg/dL or <3.3 mmol/L) for a total of 23 episodes out of 4140 measurements (0.56%). Estimated creatinine clearance for those with hypoglycemia was 69 +/- 32 mL/min compared with 117 +/- 58 mL/min for the others (P < 0.01).

CONCLUSION: Our protocol was safe and effective for the management of hyperglycemia in critically ill trauma patients receiving specialized nutritional support but should be used with caution in patients with renal insufficiency.

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