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A UK national survey of enteral feed use in people with diabetes 2022.

AIMS: Enteral feeding is commonly used to manage a variety of medical conditions in hospital. For people with diabetes this can present a specific challenge for glucose management. To address gaps in our understanding of modern enteral feeding outcomes and to help with the development of more specific guidance on maintaining glycaemic control, we conducted a national survey on the management of enteral feeding against the standards in the nationally adopted Joint British Diabetes Societies for Inpatient Care (JBDS) guidelines.

METHODS: A questionnaire was developed using the 2018 JBDS guideline as a template This questionnaire was sent out by email to all 220 UK specialist diabetes teams. Databases of Diabetes UK, the Association of British Diabetologists (ABCD), and the Diabetes Inpatient Specialist Nurse (DISN) UK Group were used.

RESULTS: Twenty-six hospitals responded, 11 had guidelines for the management of insulin with enteral feeding. There were 3 main feed regimens used: continuous 24-hour feeding, a single feed with one break in 24 hours, or multiple feeds in 24 hours. There were 5 regimens in common use: premixed insulin, isophane insulin, analogue basal insulin, variable rate intravenous insulin, or basal bolus insulin. Overall glucose control was poor for all regimens and combinations. Continuous feed showed better glucose control than a single feed with a break, mean (+SD) glucose 12.4 mmol/L (5.6) vs 15.1 mmol/L (6.9) p <0.005, but no group showed optimal control.

CONCLUSIONS: Managing diabetes control during enteral feeding remains a challenge. Our survey showed that glucose control during this treatment is suboptimal.

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