Efficacy and safety of an insulin infusion protocol in a surgical ICU

Beth E. Taylor, Marilyn E. Schallom, Carrie S. Sona, Timothy G. Buchman, Walter A. Boyle, John E. Mazuski, Douglas E. Schuerer, James M. Thomas, Christy Kaiser, Way Y. Huey, Myrna R. Ward, Jeanne E. Zack, Craig M. Coopersmith

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69 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Hyperglycemia is associated with complications in the surgical intensive care unit. The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy and safety of nurse-driven insulin infusion protocols in lowering blood glucose (BG) in critical illness. STUDY DESIGN: All patients in a 24-bed surgical intensive care unit who required IV insulin infusions during 3 noncontiguous 6-month periods from 2002 to 2004 were evaluated. In the preintervention phase, 71 patients received a physician-initiated insulin infusion without a developed protocol. They were compared with 95 patients who received a nurse-driven insulin infusion protocol with a target BG of 120 to 150 mg/dL and to 119 patients who received a more stringent protocol with a target BG of 80 to 110 mg/dL. RESULTS: There was a stepwise decrease in average daily BG levels, from 190 to 163 to 132 mg/dL (p < 0.001). The less stringent protocol decreased the time to achieve a BG level < 150 mg/dL from 14.1 to 7.4 hours compared with physician-driven management (p < 0.05) resulting in similar time on an insulin infusion (53 versus 48 hours). The more intensive protocol brought BG levels < 150 mg/dL in 7.2 hours and < 111 mg/dL in 13.6 hours, but increased the length of time a patient was on an insulin infusion to 77 hours. The incidence of severe hypoglycemia (BG < 40 mg/dL) was statistically similar between the groups, ranging between 1.1% and 3.4%. CONCLUSIONS: Implementation of a nurse-driven protocol led to more rapid and more effective BG control in critically ill surgical patients compared with physician management. Tighter BG control can be obtained without a significant increase in hypoglycemia, although this is associated with increased time on an insulin infusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Volume202
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006

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    Taylor, B. E., Schallom, M. E., Sona, C. S., Buchman, T. G., Boyle, W. A., Mazuski, J. E., Schuerer, D. E., Thomas, J. M., Kaiser, C., Huey, W. Y., Ward, M. R., Zack, J. E., & Coopersmith, C. M. (2006). Efficacy and safety of an insulin infusion protocol in a surgical ICU. Journal of the American College of Surgeons, 202(1), 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2005.09.015