Safety and Efficacy of Intensive Insulin Therapy in Patients With Thermal Injury

Patel, Mallika P.; Weant, Kyle A.; Ritter, Britt A.; Cairns, Bruce A.
January 2009
Hospital Pharmacy;Jan2009, Vol. 44 Issue 1, p41
Academic Journal
Purpose: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of intensive insulin therapy (IIT) versus traditional corrective insulin management (CIM) for the treatment of hyperglycemia in adult patients with thermal injury who are under intensive care. Methods: Using a searchable pharmacy database, a retrospective, observational chart review was conducted of adult patients who were admitted to the surgical burn service intensive care unit (ICU) at the University of North Carolina Hospitals (LINCH) from January 2004 through December 2005 and who had received insulin therapy. Results: Seventy-one patients qualified for analysis. The average morning serum blood glucose value while patients were receiving IIT, defined as 80 to 110 mg/dL, was 107 mg/dL compared with 124 mg/dL while patients were receiving CIM (P < 0.001). Of morning serum blood glucose values taken, 49% were within the target range in patients receiving IIT compared with 34% in patients receiving CIM (P < 0.001). No significant differences were found between the 2 groups with regard to mortality, ICU stay, or hospital stay. More patients experienced hypoglycemia (blood glucose value less than 50 mg/dL) while receiving IIT compared with CIM (36.4% vs 31.3%; P = 0.732); however, none of the patients had symptomatic hypoglycemia. There was a significantly higher rate of hypoglycemia among nonsurvivors compared with survivors (66.7% vs 26.4%; P = 0.006). Conclusion: IIT lowers average morning blood glucose in the thermal injury population when compared with CIM. Differences in hypoglycemic events were observed in this review; however, none of the episodes were symptomatic. Although further study is needed, IIT appears to be a safe and effective method of controlling serum blood glucose values in this specialized population.


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