Glucose Management in Hospitalized Patients.
Am Fam Physician. 2017 Nov 15;96(10):648-654
Authors: Kodner C, Anderson L, Pohlgeers K
Glucose management in hospitalized patients poses challenges to physicians, including identifying blood glucose targets, judicious use of oral diabetes mellitus medications, and implementing appropriate insulin regimens. Uncontrolled blood glucose levels can lead to deleterious effects on wound healing, increased risk of infection, and delays in surgical procedures or discharge from the hospital. Previously recommended strict blood glucose targets for hospitalized patients result in more cases of hypoglycemia without improvement in patient outcomes. The current target is 140 to 180 mg per dL. Use of oral diabetes medications, particularly metformin, in hospitalized patients is controversial. Multiple guidelines recommend stopping these medications at admission because of inpatient factors that can increase the risk of renal or hepatic failure. However, oral diabetes medications have important nonglycemic benefits and reduce the risk of widely fluctuating blood glucose levels. There is no proven risk of lactic acidosis from metformin in patients with normal kidney function, and it can be used safely in many hospitalized patients with diabetes. Insulin dosing depends on the patient's previous experience with insulin, baseline diabetes control, and renal function. Other considerations include the patient's current oral intake, comorbidities, and other medications. Many patients can be managed using only a basal insulin dose, whereas others benefit from additional short-acting premeal doses. Historically, sliding scale insulin regimens have been used, but they have no proven benefit, increase the risk of hypoglycemia and large fluctuations in blood glucose levels, and are not recommended. Discharge planning is an important opportunity to address diabetes control, medication adherence, and outpatient follow-up.
PMID: 29431385 [PubMed - in process]