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ABSTRACT: Glycemic control in hospitalized patients who are not in intensive care remains unsatisfactory. Despite persistent expert recommendations urging its abandonment, the use of sliding-scale insulin remains pervasive in U.S. hospitals. Evidence for the effectiveness of sliding-scale insulin is lacking after more than 40 years of use. New physiologic subcutaneous insulin protocols use basal, nutritional, and correctional insulin. The initial total daily dose of subcutaneous insulin is calculated using a factor of 0.3 to 0.6 units per kg body weight, with one half given as long-acting insulin (the basal insulin dose), and the other one half divided daily over three meals as short-acting insulin doses (nutritional insulin doses). A correctional insulin dose provides a final insulin adjustment based on the preprandial glucose value. This correctional dose resembles a sliding scale, but is only a small fine-tuning of therapy, as opposed to traditional sliding-scale insulin alone. Insulin sensitivity, nutritional intake, and total daily dosing review can alter the physiologic insulin-dosing schedule. Prospective trials have demonstrated reductions in hyperglycemic measurements, hypoglycemia, and adjusted hospital length of stay when physiologic subcutaneous insulin protocols are used. Transitions in care require special considerations and attention to glycemic control medications. Changing the sliding-scale insulin culture requires a multidisciplinary effort to improve patient safety and outcomes.
Glucose Control in Hospitalized Patients - Article
ABSTRACT: Evidence indicates that hospitalized patients with hyperglycemia do not benefit from tight blood glucose control. Maintaining a blood glucose level of less than 180 mg per dL (9.99 mmol per L) will minimize symptoms of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia without adversely affecting patient-oriented health outcomes. In the absence of modifying factors, physicians should continue patients’ at-home diabetes mellitus medications and randomly check glucose levels once daily. Sulfonylureas should be withheld to avoid hypoglycemia in patients with limited caloric intake. Patients with cardiovascular conditions may benefit from temporarily stopping treatment with thiazolidinediones to avoid precipitating heart failure. Metformin should be temporarily withheld in patients who have worsening renal function or who will undergo an imaging study that uses contrast. When patients need to be treated with insulin in the short term, using a long-acting basal insulin combined with a short-acting insulin before meals (with the goal of keeping blood glucose less than 180 mg per dL) better approximates normal physiology and uses fewer nursing resources than sliding-scale insulin approaches. Most studies have found that infusion with glucose, insulin, and potassium does not improve mortality in patients with acute myocardial infarction. Patients admitted with acute myocardial infarction should have moderate control of blood glucose using home regimens or basal insulin with correctional doses.
Insulin for Glycemic Control in Acute Ischemic Stroke - Cochrane for Clinicians