Transitioning Safely From Intravenous To Subcutaneous Insulin
Current Diabetes Reports Authors Kathryn Evans Kreider, Lillian F. Lien Abstract The transition from intravenous (IV) to subcutaneous (SQ) insulin in the hospitalized patient with diabetes or hyperglycemia is a key step in patient care. This review article suggests a stepwise approach to the transition in order to promote safety and euglycemia. Important components of the transition include evaluating the patient and clinical situation for appropriateness, recognizing factors that influence a safe transition, calculation of proper SQ insulin doses, and deciding the appropriate type of SQ insulin. This article addresses other clinical situations including the management of patients previously on insulin pumps and recommendations for patients requiring glucocorticoids and enteral tube feedings. The use of institutional and computerized protocols is discussed. Further research is needed regarding the transition management of subgroups of patients such as those with type 1 diabetes and end-stage renal disease. Introduction Intravenous (IV) insulin is used in the hospitalized patient to control blood sugars for patients with and without diabetes who may exhibit uncontrolled hyperglycemia or for those who need close glycemic attention. Common hospital uses for IV insulin include the perioperative setting, during the use of high-risk medications (such as corticosteroids), or during crises such as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) [1,2]. Other conditions such as hyperglycemic hyperosmolar state (HHS) and trauma frequently require IV insulin, as well as specific hospital units such as the cardiothoracic intensive care unit [3,4]. The correlation between hyperglycemia and poor inpatient outcomes has been well described in the literature [5,6]. The treatment of hyperglycemia using an IV Continue reading >>
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a life-threatening condition caused by dangerously high blood sugar levels. Your blood sugar levels become high because your body does not have enough insulin. Insulin helps move sugar out of the blood so it can be used for energy. The lack of insulin forces your body to use fat instead of sugar for energy. As fats are broken down, they leave chemicals called ketones that build up in your blood. Ketones are dangerous at high levels. DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS: Call 911 for any of the following: You have a seizure. You begin to breathe fast, or are short of breath. You become weak and confused. Seek care immediately if: You are more drowsy than usual. Contact your healthcare provider if: You have fruity, sweet breath. You have severe, new stomach pain and are vomiting. Your blood sugar level is lower or higher than your healthcare provider says it should be. You have ketones in your blood or urine. You have a fever or chills. You are more thirsty than usual. You are urinating more often than usual. You have questions or concerns about your condition or care. Medicines: Insulin and diabetes medicine decreases the amount of sugar in your blood. Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Help prevent DKA: The best way to prevent DKA is to control your diabetes. Ask your healthcare provider for more information on how to manage your diabetes. The following ma Continue reading >>
Emergency Management Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Adults
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a potentially fatal metabolic disorder presenting most weeks in most accident and emergency (A&E) departments.1 The disorder can have significant mortality if misdiagnosed or mistreated. Numerous management strategies have been described. Our aim is to describe a regimen that is based, as far as possible, on available evidence but also on our experience in managing patients with DKA in the A&E department and on inpatient wards. A literature search was carried out on Medline and the Cochrane Databases using “diabetic ketoacidosis” as a MeSH heading and as textword. High yield journals were hand searched. Papers identified were appraised in the ways described in the Users’ guide series published in JAMA. We will not be discussing the derangements in intermediary metabolism involved, nor would we suggest extrapolating the proposed regimen to children. Although some of the issues discussed may be considered by some to be outwith the remit of A&E medicine it would seem prudent to ensure that A&E staff were aware of the probable management of such patients in the hours after they leave the A&E department. AETIOLOGY AND DEFINITION DKA may be the first presentation of diabetes. Insulin error (with or without intercurrent illness) is the most common precipitating factor, accounting for nearly two thirds of cases (excluding those where DKA was the first presentation of diabetes mellitus).2 The main features of DKA are hyperglycaemia, metabolic acidosis with a high anion gap and heavy ketonuria (box 1). This contrasts with the other hyperglycaemic diabetic emergency of hyperosmolar non-ketotic hyperglycaemia where there is no acidosis, absent or minimal ketonuria but often very high glucose levels (>33 mM) and very high serum sodium levels (>15 Continue reading >>
Type 1 Diabetes In Adults: Diagnosis And Management.
Go to: 12.1. Ketone monitoring  12.1.1. Introduction Ketosis and ketonuria reflect a greater degree of insulin deficiency than hyperglycaemia alone. The presence of ketones indicates that insulin concentrations are too low not only to control blood glucose concentrations but also to prevent the breakdown of fat (lipolysis). Because ketones are acid substances, high ketone concentrations in the blood may create acidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a medical emergency and in its established state carries a 0.7–5% mortality in adults.459,476,784 High ketones in the blood are associated with high levels of fatty acids and together create insulin resistance. The patient with significant ketonaemia will require more insulin than usual to control the blood glucose. Traditionally, ketonaemia has been assessed by urine testing. This has been applied in three main settings: it is recommended as part of guidance for patient self-management of acute illness at home, when patients are advised to increase their usual corrective insulin doses in the presence of significant ketonuria; in the assessment of patients presenting to emergency services with hyperglycaemia, where presence of ketonuria may influence management decisions, including need for admission and in the management of established DKA, where resolution of ketonuria is an important indication of recovery. However, not all ketone bodies are detected by urine testing. For example, beta-hydroxybutyrate (β-OHB) is not detected with current strip tests and if there is a high β-OHB:acetoacetate ratio, urine testing may give a falsely low estimate of ketosis. Furthermore, after an episode of ketoacidosis, where measurement of blood ketones may provide a more accurate assessment of re-insulinisation than blood glucos Continue reading >>
GENERAL ketoacidosis is a high anion gap metabolic acidosis due to an excessive blood concentration of ketone bodies (keto-anions). ketone bodies (acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate, acetone) are released into the blood from the liver when hepatic lipid metabolism has changed to a state of increased ketogenesis. a relative or absolute insulin deficiency is present in all cases. CAUSES The three major types of ketosis are: (i) Starvation ketosis (ii) Alcoholic ketoacidosis (iii) Diabetic ketoacidosis STARVATION KETOSIS when hepatic glycogen stores are exhausted (eg after 12-24 hours of total fasting), the liver produces ketones to provide an energy substrate for peripheral tissues. ketoacidosis can appear after an overnight fast but it typically requires 3 to 14 days of starvation to reach maximal severity. typical keto-anion levels are only 1 to 2 mmol/l and this will usually not alter the anion gap. the acidosis even with quite prolonged fasting is only ever of mild to moderate severity with keto-anion levels up to a maximum of 3 to 5 mmol/l and plasma pH down to 7.3. ketone bodies also stimulate some insulin release from the islets. patients are usually not diabetic. ALCOHOLIC KETOSIS Presentation a chronic alcoholic who has a binge, then stops drinking and has little or no oral food intake for a few days (ethanol and fasting) volume depletion is common and this can result in increased levels of counter regulatory hormones (eg glucagon) levels of free fatty acids (FFA) can be high (eg up to 3.5mM) providing plenty of substrate for the altered hepatic lipid metabolism to produce plenty of ketoanions GI symptoms are common (eg nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, haematemesis, melaena) acidaemia may be severe (eg pH down to 7.0) plasma glucose may be depressed or normal or Continue reading >>
Diabetic Coma Recovery: What You Need To Know
In people with diabetes, a diabetic coma occurs when severe levels of either high or low uncontrolled blood sugar are not corrected. If treated quickly, a person will make a rapid recovery from a diabetic coma. However, diabetic coma can be fatal or result in brain damage. It is important for people with diabetes to control their blood sugars and know what to do when their blood sugar levels are not within their target range. The severe symptoms of uncontrolled blood sugar that can come before a diabetic coma include vomiting, difficulty breathing, confusion, weakness, and dizziness. Recovery from diabetic coma If a diabetic coma is not treated within a couple of hours of it developing, it can cause irreversible brain damage. If no treatment is received, a diabetic coma will be fatal. In addition, having blood sugar levels that continue to be too low or too high can be bad for long-term health. This remains true even if they do not develop into diabetic coma. Recognizing the early signs of low or high blood sugar levels and regular monitoring can help people with diabetes keep their blood sugar levels within the healthy range. Doing so will also reduce the risk of associated complications and diabetic coma. What is diabetes? Diabetes is a long-term condition in which the body is unable to control the level of a sugar called glucose in the blood. Diabetes is caused by either a lack of insulin, the body's inability to use insulin correctly, or both. In people who don't have diabetes, insulin usually ensures that excess glucose is removed from the bloodstream. It does this by stimulating cells to absorb the glucose they need for energy from the blood. Insulin also causes any remaining glucose to be stored in the liver as a substance called glycogen. The production of insul Continue reading >>
What Is It? Diabetic ketoacidosis is a potentially fatal complication of diabetes that occurs when you have much less insulin than your body needs. This problem causes the blood to become acidic and the body to become dangerously dehydrated. Diabetic ketoacidosis can occur when diabetes is not treated adequately, or it can occur during times of serious sickness. To understand this illness, you need to understand the way your body powers itself with sugar and other fuels. Foods we eat are broken down by the body, and much of what we eat becomes glucose (a type of sugar), which enters the bloodstream. Insulin helps glucose to pass from the bloodstream into body cells, where it is used for energy. Insulin normally is made by the pancreas, but people with type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes) don't produce enough insulin and must inject it daily. Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School. Continue reading >>
Management Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Adults
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a potentially life-threatening complication of diabetes, making it a medical emergency. Nurses need to know how to identify and manage it and how to maintain electrolyte balance Continue reading >>
Effect Of Glargine On Recovery Of Patients With Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Therapy change decreased recovery time, incidence of hypoglycemia and hypokalemia… Diabetes ketoacidosis is an emergency situation caused by acute high blood glucose concentration, which may be correlated with both type 1 and 2 diabetes. The current treatment for diabetic ketoacidosis is injection of rapid-acting regular insulin. The preferred protocol is intravenous infusion. However, intravenous regular insulin has a short half-life and requires an infusion pump. Long-acting insulin, such as glargine, has an onset of action is about an hour and is stable for 24 hours. Given the duration of action of glargine, it seems that adding long-acting insulin to standard therapy improves the recovery of the patients. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of glargine on the recovery of patients with diabetic ketoacidosis. The study was designed as a randomized controlled study, which consisted of 40 patients with diabetic ketoacidosis. Both groups were administered standard therapy for diabetic ketoacidosis. The experimental group received 0.4 units/kg of glargine within three hours of the start of intravenous infusion. The results showed that the average duration of acidosis correction time and recovery from diabetic ketoacidosis was 13.77±6.10 and 16.91±6.49 h in the experimental and control groups, respectively (p=0.123). The average dosage of regular insulin until recovery from diabetic ketoacidosis was 84.8±45.6 in the experimental group and 116.5±91.6 units in control groups (p=0.17). Hypokalemia happened in three patients in the experimental group and four patients in control groups. In 35% of models in the experimental group and 51% in control group blood glucose was greater than 10 mmol/l for 24 h after starting the insulin infusion (p=0.046). T Continue reading >>
A Preventable Crisis People who have had diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA, will tell you it’s worse than any flu they’ve ever had, describing an overwhelming feeling of lethargy, unquenchable thirst, and unrelenting vomiting. “It’s sort of like having molasses for blood,” says George. “Everything moves so slow, the mouth can feel so dry, and there is a cloud over your head. Just before diagnosis, when I was in high school, I would get out of a class and go to the bathroom to pee for about 10–12 minutes. Then I would head to the water fountain and begin drinking water for minutes at a time, usually until well after the next class had begun.” George, generally an upbeat person, said that while he has experienced varying degrees of DKA in his 40 years or so of having diabetes, “…at its worst, there is one reprieve from its ill feeling: Unfortunately, that is a coma.” But DKA can be more than a feeling of extreme discomfort, and it can result in more than a coma. “It has the potential to kill,” says Richard Hellman, MD, past president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. “DKA is a medical emergency. It’s the biggest medical emergency related to diabetes. It’s also the most likely time for a child with diabetes to die.” DKA occurs when there is not enough insulin in the body, resulting in high blood glucose; the person is dehydrated; and too many ketones are present in the bloodstream, making it acidic. The initial insulin deficit is most often caused by the onset of diabetes, by an illness or infection, or by not taking insulin when it is needed. Ketones are your brain’s “second-best fuel,” Hellman says, with glucose being number one. If you don’t have enough glucose in your cells to supply energy to your brain, yo Continue reading >>
Patient professional reference Professional Reference articles are written by UK doctors and are based on research evidence, UK and European Guidelines. They are designed for health professionals to use. You may find one of our health articles more useful. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is the leading cause of mortality in childhood diabetes.The primary cause of DKA is absolute or relative insulin deficiency: Absolute - eg, previously undiagnosed type 1 diabetes mellitus or a patient with known type 1 diabetes who does not take their insulin. Relative - stress causes a rise in counter-regulatory hormones with relative insulin deficiency. DKA can be fatal The usual causes of death are: Cerebral oedema - associated with 25% mortality (see 'Cerebral odedema', below). Hypokalaemia - which is preventable with good monitoring. Aspiration pneumonia - thus, use of a nasogastric tube in the semi-conscious or unconscious is advised. Deficiency of insulin. Rise in counter-regulatory hormones, including glucagon, cortisol, growth hormone, and catecholamines. Thus, inappropriate gluconeogenesis and liver glycogenolysis occur compounding the hyperglycaemia, which causes hyperosmolarity and ensuing polyuria, dehydration and loss of electrolytes. Accelerated catabolism from lipolysis of adipose tissue leads to increased free fatty acid circulation, which on hepatic oxidation produces the ketone bodies (acetoacetic acid and beta-hydroxybutyric acid) that cause the metabolic acidosis. A vicious circle is usually set up as vomiting usually occurs compounding the stress and dehydration; the cycle can only be broken by providing insulin and fluids; otherwise, severe acidosis occurs and can be fatal. Biochemical criteria The biochemical criteria required for a diagnosis of DKA to be made are Continue reading >>
How Long Does Diabetic Coma Last And How Is It Treated?
When immediately attended and given the right treatment, the diabetic patient can be quickly wakened up from the diabetic coma. Late attention to diabetic coma might take more glucose to be given to the person for better healing. The diabetic coma is connected to the metabolic abnormalities which forces the diabetic patient to the coma. If the diabetic patient stays in the coma for longer periods of time or if the patient is unattended for long time, permanant brain damage may take place or in rare instances it may lead to death of the patient. What is the Prognosis or Outlook for Diabetic Coma? Diabetic coma can be fatal. Late attention may prolong the period of treatment. A person who has been treated for long for diabetic coma is recorded to experience a brain damage. This is a dire situation but can be avoided by taking precautionary measures. Remain alert and aware to save yourself from diabetic coma. Manage your diabetic syndromes effectively to save your life. Even after the sugar level is normalized in a person, he or she will still experience nervous disorders like seizures or talking problems. Problems still persists even after recovering from diabetic coma. The recovery time cannot be predicted and depends on individual case. When immediately attended and given glucose biscuits, a person can be quickly wakened up. Late attention might take more glucose to be given to the person for better healing. Consult your doctor and take necessary guidelines on how to prevent any incident of diabetic coma or any other complexities if you are diabetic. Your doctor may prescribe you tests to determine the exact "dos and don'ts" to you on how to manage diabetes. Diabetic coma is caused by three major reasons: Severe hypolgycemia i.e., low blood sugar level Diabetic ketoacid Continue reading >>
Diabetic Ketoacidosis Producing Extreme Hyperkalemia In A Patient With Type 1 Diabetes On Hemodialysis
Hodaka Yamada1, Shunsuke Funazaki1, Masafumi Kakei1, Kazuo Hara1 and San-e Ishikawa2 Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Jichi Medical University Saitama Medical Center, Saitama, Japan  Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, International University of Health and Welfare Hospital, Nasushiobara, Japan Summary Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a critical complication of type 1 diabetes associated with water and electrolyte disorders. Here, we report a case of DKA with extreme hyperkalemia (9.0 mEq/L) in a patient with type 1 diabetes on hemodialysis. He had a left frontal cerebral infarction resulting in inability to manage his continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion pump. Electrocardiography showed typical changes of hyperkalemia, including absent P waves, prolonged QRS interval and tented T waves. There was no evidence of total body water deficit. After starting insulin and rapid hemodialysis, the serum potassium level was normalized. Although DKA may present with hypokalemia, rapid hemodialysis may be necessary to resolve severe hyperkalemia in a patient with renal failure. Patients with type 1 diabetes on hemodialysis may develop ketoacidosis because of discontinuation of insulin treatment. Patients on hemodialysis who develop ketoacidosis may have hyperkalemia because of anuria. Absolute insulin deficit alters potassium distribution between the intracellular and extracellular space, and anuria abolishes urinary excretion of potassium. Rapid hemodialysis along with intensive insulin therapy can improve hyperkalemia, while fluid infusions may worsen heart failure in patients with ketoacidosis who routinely require hemodialysis. Background Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a very common endocrinology emergency. It is usually associated with severe circulatory Continue reading >>
What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis?
Having diabetes means that there is too much sugar (glucose) in your blood. When you eat food, your body breaks down much of the food into glucose. Your blood carries the glucose to the cells of your body. An organ in your upper belly, called the pancreas, makes and releases a hormone called insulin when it detects glucose. Your body uses insulin to help move the glucose from the bloodstream into the cells for energy. When your body does not make insulin (type 1 diabetes), or has trouble using insulin (type 2 diabetes), glucose cannot get into your cells. The glucose level in your blood goes up. Too much glucose in your blood (also called hyperglycemia or high blood sugar) can cause many problems. People with type 1 diabetes are at risk for a problem called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). It is very rare in people with type 2 diabetes. DKA happens when your body does not have enough insulin to move glucose into your cells, and your body begins to burn fat for energy. The burning of fats causes a build-up of dangerous levels of ketones in the blood. At the same time, sugar also builds up in the blood. DKA is an emergency that must be treated right away. If it is not treated right away, it can cause coma or death. What can I expect in the hospital? You will need to stay in the hospital in order to bring your blood sugar level under control and treat the cause of the DKA. Several things may be done while you are in the hospital to monitor, test, and treat your condition. They include: Monitoring You will be checked often by the hospital staff. You may have fingersticks to check your blood sugar regularly. This may be done as often as every hour. You will learn how to check your blood sugar level in order to manage your diabetes when you go home. A heart (cardiac) monitor may Continue reading >>
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