Management of hyperglycemia in the non-intensive care patient: featuring subcutaneous insulin protocols

Ariana R Pichardo-Lowden, Chris Y Fan, Robert A Gabbay
Endocrine Practice 2011, 17 (2): 249-60

OBJECTIVE: To provide insulin protocols and adjustment guidance for management of hyperglycemia in common inpatient clinical scenarios.

METHODS: We performed a PubMed search of pertinent existing literature from 1980 to 2010.

RESULTS: Hyperglycemia is frequently encountered in general medical and surgical wards and has been linked to adverse clinical outcomes, prolonged hospital length of stay, and increased institutional care needs after discharge. No randomized controlled trial has been conducted to define optimal glycemic goals or to investigate the effects of intensive glycemic control in the non-intensive care unit (ICU) setting. Nonetheless, it is advocated by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American Diabetes Association, in their 2009 Consensus Statement on Inpatient Glycemic Control, that optimization of glycemia in hospitalized patients with diabetes and hyperglycemia be judiciously offered. This approach is clinically sound, in light of the known deleterious consequences of hyperglycemia in critically and noncritically ill patients and the benefits observed with improved glycemic control in intensive care settings. The approach to hyperglycemia in non-ICU inpatients should follow the principles of provision of basal-nutritional-supplemental insulin. Herein we provide insulin protocols and adjustment guidance for management of hyperglycemia in common clinical scenarios. Recommendations reflect the opinion of national experts in the field and our departmental consensus at Penn State Institute for Diabetes and Obesity.

CONCLUSION: Glycemic control in the non-ICU setting is a relevant clinical situation that should be addressed and managed effectively and prudently. We present a practical guide for management of hyperglycemia individualized to various clinical scenarios encountered in the general hospital wards.

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