Comparison of a 'two-bag system' versus conventional treatment protocol ('one-bag system') in the management of diabetic ketoacidosis

Iqbal Munir, Ramiz Fargo, Roger Garrison, Almira Yang, Andy Cheng, Ilho Kang, Ali Motabar, Karen Xu, Lawrence K Loo, Daniel I Kim
BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care 2017, 5 (1): e000395

OBJECTIVE: We compared the conventional 'one-bag protocol' of management of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) with the 'two-bag protocol' which utilizes two bags of fluids, one containing saline and supplemental electrolytes and the other containing the same solution with the addition of 10% dextrose.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: A retrospective chart review and analysis was done on adult patients admitted for DKA to the Riverside University Health System Medical Center from 2008 to 2015. There were 249 cases of DKA managed by the one-bag system and 134 cases managed by the two-bag system.

RESULTS: The baseline patient characteristics were similar in both groups. The anion gap closed in 13.56 hours in the one-bag group versus 10.94 hours in the two-bag group (p value <0.0002). None of the individual factors significantly influenced the anion gap closure time; only the two-bag system favored earlier closure of the anion gap. Plasma glucose levels improved to <250 mg/dL earlier with two-bag protocol (9.14 vs 7.82 hours, p=0.0241). The incidence of hypoglycemic events was significantly less frequent with the two-bag protocol compared with the standard one-bag system (1.49% vs 8.43%, p=0.0064). Neither the time to improve serum HCO3 level >18 mg/dL nor the hospital length of stay differed between the two groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study indicates that the two-bag protocol closes the anion gap earlier than the one-bag protocol in adult patients with DKA. Blood glucose levels improved faster with the two-bag protocol compared with the one-bag protocol with fewer associated episodes of hypoglycemia. Prospective studies are needed to evaluate the clinical significance of these findings.

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