Roughly one third of patients experience hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, during their hospital stay, and many of those patients don't have diabetes or are undiagnosed. Blood sugar levels tend to go higher when a patient is critically ill, for example, after heart surgery a condition referred to as stress hyperglycemia. Stress hyperglycemia in seriously ill patients worsens outcomes higher medical costs, higher incidence of infection and readmission to the hospital, and higher mortality rates.
Until recently there were no national standards of care for managing hyperglycemia in the inpatient setting. That changed with the 2005 release of the American Diabetes Association's (ADA) Clinical Practice Guidelines the ADA's first guidelines relating to inpatient hyperglycemic care. By adopting and implementing these guidelines, the University of Kentucky HealthCare Chandler Medical Center is making huge strides in assuring that hyperglycemic patients don't fall through the cracks.
"The effects are immediate. This will help patients now," said Dr. Raymond Reynolds, co-chair of UK's Glycemic Control Task Force and UK College of Medicine Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Molecular Medicine. "We are educating physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dietitians the entire healthcare team. We're giving them the tools they need to better treat patients."
The traditional way of dealing with hyperglycemia in non-diabetic hospitalized patients: Simply not treating it or using sliding scale insulin treatment. In the sliding scale method, a patient is given an insulin injection only after his or her blood sugar level has spiked, without reg
Contact: Melanie Jackson
University of Kentucky