Glycemic control decreases morbidity and mortality in critically ill patients. However, limited guidance exists regarding the transition from intravenous (IV) to subcutaneous insulin therapy. A validated protocol for transition is necessary since glycemic variability, hyperglycemia, and hypoglycemia adversely impact patient outcomes.Method:
The objective was to determine the safest and most effective method to transition critically ill adults from IV to subcutaneous insulin. This single-center, retrospective, observational study included adults admitted to the burn, medical, or surgical/trauma intensive care units from January 1, 2011, to September 30, 2014. A computer-based program provided a reflection of the patient’s total daily IV insulin requirements. This information was then utilized to stratify patients into groups according to their initial dose of subcutaneous insulin as a percentage of the prior 24-hour IV requirements (group stratification: 0-49%, 50-59%, 60-69%, 70-79%, ≥80%). The primary endpoint was the percentage of blood glucose (BG) concentrations within target range (70-150 mg/dL) 48 hours following transition.Results:
One hundred patients with 1394 BG concentrations were included. The 50-59% group achieved the highest rate of BG concentrations in goal range (68%) (P < .001). The 0-49% group, which was the transition method utilized most often, resulted in the lowest rate of goal achievement (46%).Conclusions:
This retrospective study suggests critically ill adults may be safely transitioned to 50-59% of their 24-hour IV insulin requirements. A dosing protocol will be implemented to transition to 50-70% subcutaneous insulin. Follow-up data will be reviewed to assess the protocol’s safety and efficacy.