Comparison of a nurse initiated insulin infusion protocol for intensive insulin therapy between adult surgical trauma, medical and coronary care intensive care patients

Department of Nursing, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA. .
BMC Emergency Medicine 08/2007; 7(1):14. DOI: 10.1186/1471-227X-7-14
Source: PubMed


Sustained hyperglycemia is a known risk factor for adverse outcomes in critically ill patients. The specific aim was to determine if a nurse initiated insulin infusion protocol (IIP) was effective in maintaining blood glucose values (BG) within a target goal of 100-150 mg/dL across different intensive care units (ICUs) and to describe glycemic control during the 48 hours after protocol discontinuation.
A descriptive, retrospective review of 366 patients having 28,192 blood glucose values in three intensive care units, Surgical Trauma Intensive Care Unit (STICU), Medical (MICU) and Coronary Care Unit (CCU) in a quaternary care hospital was conducted. Patients were > 15 years of age, admitted to STICU (n = 162), MICU (n = 110) or CCU (n = 94) over 8 months; October 2003-June 2004 and who had an initial blood glucose level > 150 mg/dL. We summarized the effectiveness and safety of a nurse initiated IIP, and compared these endpoints among STICU, MICU and CCU patients.
The median blood glucose values (mg/dL) at initiation of insulin infusion protocol were lower in STICU (188; IQR, 162-217) than in MICU, (201; IQR, 170-268) and CCU (227; IQR, 178-313); p < 0.0001. Mean time to achieving a target glucose level (100-150 mg/dL) was similar between the three units: 4.6 hours in STICU, 4.7 hours in MICU and 4.9 hours in CCU (p = 0.27). Hypoglycemia (BG < 60 mg/dL) occurred in 7% of STICU, 5% of MICU, and 5% of CCU patients (p = 0.85). Protocol violations were uncommon in all three ICUs. Mean blood glucose 48 hours following IIP discontinuation was significantly different for each population: 142 mg/dL in STICU, 167 mg/dL in MICU, and 160 mg/dL in CCU (p < 0.0001).
The safety and effectiveness of nurse initiated IIP was similar across different ICUs in our hospital. Marked variability in glucose control after the protocol discontinuation suggests the need for further research regarding glucose control in patients transitioning out of the ICU.

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    • "The percentage of patients maintaining a target blood glucose level of 110 to 150 mg/dl (6.1 to 8.3 mmol/l) was 55% (protocol group) and 39% (control group) (P < 0.0001), although the effective achievement of target blood glucose control resulted in a small increase in the frequency of hypoglycaemia (3% vs. 2.5%), which was not considered significant. Nevertheless, the frequency of hypoglycaemia was still lower than that observed in other studies, which used the same target blood glucose range (110 to 150 mg/dl (6.1 to 8.3 mmol/l)) and was associated with 5% of hypoglycaemic events in cardiac care unit patients [23]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Perioperative hyperglycaemia is associated with poor outcomes in patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Frequent postoperative hyperglycaemia in cardiac surgery patients has led to the initiation of an insulin infusion sliding scale for quality improvement. A systematic review was conducted to determine whether a protocol-directed insulin infusion sliding scale is as safe and effective as a conventional practitioner-directed insulin infusion sliding scale, within target blood glucose ranges. A literature survey was conducted to identify reports on the effectiveness and safety of an insulin infusion protocol, using seven electronic databases from 2000 to 2012: MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, the Joanna Briggs Institute Library and SIGLE. Data were extracted using pre-determined systematic review and meta-analysis criteria. Seven research studies met the inclusion criteria. There was an improvement in overall glycaemic control in five of these studies. The implementation of protocols led to the achievement of blood glucose concentration targets more rapidly and the maintenance of a specified target blood glucose range for a longer time, without any increased frequency of hyperglycaemia. Of the seven studies, four used controls and three had no controls. In terms of the meta-analysis carried out, four studies revealed a failure of patients reaching target blood glucose levels (P < 0.0005) in the control group compared with patients in the protocol group. The risk of hypoglycaemia was significantly reduced (P <0.00001) between studies. It can be concluded that the protocol-directed insulin infusion sliding scale is safe and improves blood glucose control when compared with the conventional practitioner-directed insulin infusion sliding scale. This study supports the adoption of a protocol-directed insulin infusion sliding scale as a standard of care for post-cardiac surgery patients.
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    • "The unit of observation differed also among these studies. Only in one study was the percentage of measurements within the predefined range calculated per patient, and the mean percentage per patient was reported [11]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The objectives of this study were to systematically identify and summarize quality indicators of tight glycaemic control in critically ill patients, and to inspect the applicability of their definitions. We searched in MEDLINE for all studies evaluating a tight glycaemic control protocol and/or quality of glucose control that reported original data from a clinical trial or observational study on critically ill adult patients. Forty-nine studies met the inclusion criteria; 30 different indicators were extracted and categorized into four nonorthogonal categories: blood glucose zones (for example, 'hypoglycaemia'); blood glucose levels (for example, 'mean blood glucose level'); time intervals (for example, 'time to occurrence of an event'); and protocol characteristics (for example, 'blood glucose sampling frequency'). Hypoglycaemia-related indicators were used in 43 out of 49 studies, acting as a proxy for safety, but they employed many different definitions. Blood glucose level summaries were used in 41 out of 49 studies, reported as means and/or medians during the study period or at a certain time point (for example, the morning blood glucose level or blood glucose level upon starting insulin therapy). Time spent in the predefined blood glucose level range, time needed to reach the defined blood glucose level target, hyperglycaemia-related indicators and protocol-related indicators were other frequently used indicators. Most indicators differ in their definitions even when they are meant to measure the same underlying concept. More importantly, many definitions are not precise, prohibiting their applicability and hence the reproducibility and comparability of research results. An unambiguous indicator reference subset is necessary. The result of this systematic review can be used as a starting point from which to develop a standard list of well defined indicators that are associated with clinical outcomes or that concur with clinicians' subjective views on the quality of the regulatory process.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2008 · Critical care (London, England)
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