Adherance to protocol during the acute management of diabetic ketoacidosis: would specialist involvement lead to better outcomes?
Int J Clin Pract. 2010 Oct;64(11):1580-1582
Authors: Devalia B
Background:â€‚ Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a hyperglycaemic emergency associated with major morbidity and mortality. It has been shown that treating patients admitted with DKA using an integrated care pathway, or protocol, reduces time taken to initiate management thus optimising care. Early input from diabetes specialist services should also be sought. A new protocol for managing DKA was introduced in Sherwood Forest Trust in July 2008. Aims:â€‚ To assess whether the trust DKA protocol is being followed at Kingsmill and Newark District General Hospitals during acute management (first 4 h) of patients. Methods:â€‚ Retrospective case note review of all adult patients coded as DKA from July 2008 to February 2009. Results:â€‚ Seventy-eight percent of patients were correctly diagnosed according to protocol. Hundred percent of patients had IV access and correct blood tests within 1 h of admission. Eighty percent were given appropriate fluid resuscitation within the first hour. Seventy-two percent had correct insulin prescribed and 73% were on the correct sliding scale. Seventy-eight to ninety percent of patients had correct initial investigations ordered. However only 46% of patients requiring High Dependency Unit care were referred appropriately. Between hours 2 and 4 only 38% had repeat electrolytes checked and only 35-60% of patients had the correct fluid prescribed. Conclusions:â€‚ The findings indicated that there was awareness of the new DKA protocol. It was referred to and placed in clinical notes but not always followed. Management of patients with DKA within the first hour was compliant. However, subsequent fluid management and electrolyte monitoring was poor. It was found that using a protocol does help to standardise initial management of patients but further education is needed and referral criteria need clarifying. Access to 24-hour specialist services may also help to optimise management.
PMID: 20846206 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]