Guidelines for the use of an insulin infusion for the management of hyperglycemia in critically ill patients

Judith Jacobi, Nicholas Bircher, James Krinsley, Michael Agus, Susan S. Braithwaite, Clifford Deutschman, Amado Freire, Douglas Geehan, Benjamin Kohl, Stanley A. Nasraway, Mark Rigby, Karen Sands, Lynn Schallom, Beth Taylor, Guillermo Umpierrez, John Mazuski, Holger Schunemann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

248 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective:: To evaluate the literature and identify important aspects of insulin therapy that facilitate safe and effective infusion therapy for a defined glycemic end point. Methods:: Where available, the literature was evaluated using Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) methodology to assess the impact of insulin infusions on outcome for general intensive care unit patients and those in specific subsets of neurologic injury, traumatic injury, and cardiovascular surgery. Elements that contribute to safe and effective insulin infusion therapy were determined through literature review and expert opinion. The majority of the literature supporting the use of insulin infusion therapy for critically ill patients lacks adequate strength to support more than weak recommendations, termed suggestions, such that the difference between desirable and undesirable effect of a given intervention is not always clear. RECOMMENDATIONS:: The article is focused on a suggested glycemic control end point such that a blood glucose 150 mg/dL triggers interventions to maintain blood glucose below that level and absolutely <180 mg/dL. There is a slight reduction in mortality with this treatment end point for general intensive care unit patients and reductions in morbidity for perioperative patients, postoperative cardiac surgery patients, post-traumatic injury patients, and neurologic injury patients. We suggest that the insulin regimen and monitoring system be designed to avoid and detect hypoglycemia (blood glucose ≤70 mg/dL) and to minimize glycemic variability.Important processes of care for insulin therapy include use of a reliable insulin infusion protocol, frequent blood glucose monitoring, and avoidance of finger-stick glucose testing through the use of arterial or venous glucose samples. The essential components of an insulin infusion system include use of a validated insulin titration program, availability of appropriate staffing resources, accurate monitoring technology, and standardized approaches to infusion preparation, provision of consistent carbohydrate calories and nutritional support, and dextrose replacement for hypoglycemia prevention and treatment. Quality improvement of glycemic management programs should include analysis of hypoglycemia rates, run charts of glucose values <150 and 180 mg/dL. The literature is inadequate to support recommendations regarding glycemic control in pediatric patients. Conclusions:: While the benefits of tight glycemic control have not been definitive, there are patients who will receive insulin infusion therapy, and the suggestions in this article provide the structure for safe and effective use of this therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3251-3276
Number of pages26
JournalCritical Care Medicine
Volume40
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012

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Critical Illness
Hyperglycemia
Guidelines
Insulin
Blood Glucose
Hypoglycemia
Nervous System Trauma
Glucose
Therapeutics
Intensive Care Units
Insulin Infusion Systems
Nutritional Support
Wounds and Injuries
Expert Testimony
Quality Improvement
Thoracic Surgery
Fingers
Carbohydrates
Pediatrics
Technology

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

Cite this

Jacobi, J., Bircher, N., Krinsley, J., Agus, M., Braithwaite, S. S., Deutschman, C., ... Schunemann, H. (2012). Guidelines for the use of an insulin infusion for the management of hyperglycemia in critically ill patients. Critical Care Medicine, 40(12), 3251-3276. https://doi.org/10.1097/CCM.0b013e3182653269

Guidelines for the use of an insulin infusion for the management of hyperglycemia in critically ill patients. / Jacobi, Judith; Bircher, Nicholas; Krinsley, James; Agus, Michael; Braithwaite, Susan S.; Deutschman, Clifford; Freire, Amado; Geehan, Douglas; Kohl, Benjamin; Nasraway, Stanley A.; Rigby, Mark; Sands, Karen; Schallom, Lynn; Taylor, Beth; Umpierrez, Guillermo; Mazuski, John; Schunemann, Holger.

In: Critical Care Medicine, Vol. 40, No. 12, 01.12.2012, p. 3251-3276.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Jacobi, J, Bircher, N, Krinsley, J, Agus, M, Braithwaite, SS, Deutschman, C, Freire, A, Geehan, D, Kohl, B, Nasraway, SA, Rigby, M, Sands, K, Schallom, L, Taylor, B, Umpierrez, G, Mazuski, J & Schunemann, H 2012, 'Guidelines for the use of an insulin infusion for the management of hyperglycemia in critically ill patients', Critical Care Medicine, vol. 40, no. 12, pp. 3251-3276. https://doi.org/10.1097/CCM.0b013e3182653269
Jacobi, Judith ; Bircher, Nicholas ; Krinsley, James ; Agus, Michael ; Braithwaite, Susan S. ; Deutschman, Clifford ; Freire, Amado ; Geehan, Douglas ; Kohl, Benjamin ; Nasraway, Stanley A. ; Rigby, Mark ; Sands, Karen ; Schallom, Lynn ; Taylor, Beth ; Umpierrez, Guillermo ; Mazuski, John ; Schunemann, Holger. / Guidelines for the use of an insulin infusion for the management of hyperglycemia in critically ill patients. In: Critical Care Medicine. 2012 ; Vol. 40, No. 12. pp. 3251-3276.
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AU - Bircher, Nicholas

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AU - Deutschman, Clifford

AU - Freire, Amado

AU - Geehan, Douglas

AU - Kohl, Benjamin

AU - Nasraway, Stanley A.

AU - Rigby, Mark

AU - Sands, Karen

AU - Schallom, Lynn

AU - Taylor, Beth

AU - Umpierrez, Guillermo

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N2 - Objective:: To evaluate the literature and identify important aspects of insulin therapy that facilitate safe and effective infusion therapy for a defined glycemic end point. Methods:: Where available, the literature was evaluated using Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) methodology to assess the impact of insulin infusions on outcome for general intensive care unit patients and those in specific subsets of neurologic injury, traumatic injury, and cardiovascular surgery. Elements that contribute to safe and effective insulin infusion therapy were determined through literature review and expert opinion. The majority of the literature supporting the use of insulin infusion therapy for critically ill patients lacks adequate strength to support more than weak recommendations, termed suggestions, such that the difference between desirable and undesirable effect of a given intervention is not always clear. RECOMMENDATIONS:: The article is focused on a suggested glycemic control end point such that a blood glucose 150 mg/dL triggers interventions to maintain blood glucose below that level and absolutely <180 mg/dL. There is a slight reduction in mortality with this treatment end point for general intensive care unit patients and reductions in morbidity for perioperative patients, postoperative cardiac surgery patients, post-traumatic injury patients, and neurologic injury patients. We suggest that the insulin regimen and monitoring system be designed to avoid and detect hypoglycemia (blood glucose ≤70 mg/dL) and to minimize glycemic variability.Important processes of care for insulin therapy include use of a reliable insulin infusion protocol, frequent blood glucose monitoring, and avoidance of finger-stick glucose testing through the use of arterial or venous glucose samples. The essential components of an insulin infusion system include use of a validated insulin titration program, availability of appropriate staffing resources, accurate monitoring technology, and standardized approaches to infusion preparation, provision of consistent carbohydrate calories and nutritional support, and dextrose replacement for hypoglycemia prevention and treatment. Quality improvement of glycemic management programs should include analysis of hypoglycemia rates, run charts of glucose values <150 and 180 mg/dL. The literature is inadequate to support recommendations regarding glycemic control in pediatric patients. Conclusions:: While the benefits of tight glycemic control have not been definitive, there are patients who will receive insulin infusion therapy, and the suggestions in this article provide the structure for safe and effective use of this therapy.

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