Blood glucose control
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BLOOD GLUCOSE CONTROL. A learning module for Staff. How to Use this Module. Use this module to educate staff on glucose control. Sample slides have been prepared on identifying and managing patients with hyperglycemia.

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Blood glucose control


A learning module for Staff

How to use this module
How to Use this Module

  • Use this module to educate staff on glucose control.

  • Sample slides have been prepared on identifying and managing patients with hyperglycemia.

  • You may copy and paste your facility order sets and add your own key points to match your policy and protocols.

Blood glucose control1
Blood Glucose Control


  • The importance of blood glucose control in surgical patients.

  • Understand the pathophysiology related to hyperglycemia and safety.

  • Educatestaff to the policies, procedures, and protocols.

Pathophysiology of hyperglycemia
Pathophysiology Perioperative Setting? of Hyperglycemia








Stress hyperglycemia what happens
‘Stress’ Hyperglycemia-What Happens? Perioperative Setting?

  • Cytokines/inflammatory mediators contribute to:

    • Inability of immunoglobulin to bind with surface of invading bacteria so decreased bacteriocidal capacity.

    • Impaired platelet function 54% increased blood stream infections 59% increase acute renal failure requiring dialysis and 50% increase in blood transfusions.

  • Relative hypoinsulinemia contributes to:

    • Decreased insulin sensitivity.

    • Unrestrained free fatty acids and hepatic fatty acids.

    • Increased ketone bodies and metabolic acidosis.

    • Impaired myocardial contractility and larger infarct sizes.

    • Glycosuria induced osmotic diuresis and extracellular K+ shift.

Berghe, 2001; Goldberg & Inzucchi, 2005

Adapted from Whitman, 2012 WSHA Webcast

Resulting complications of hyperglycemia and stress hyperglycemia
Resulting Complications of Hyperglycemia and Stress Hyperglycemia

Decreased tissue perfusion

Impaired metabolism

Pro-thrombotic state

Impaired cardiac function

Pro-inflammatory state

Decreased wound healing

Braitwaithe, et al. 2008; Adapted from Inzucchi, Magee, & O’Malley, 2010

Image retrieved from:

Adapted from Whitman, 2012 WSHA Webcast

Physiologic insulin secretion basal bolus concept
Physiologic Insulin Secretion: HyperglycemiaBasal/Bolus Concept


Nutritional Insulin

Suppresses Glucose Production Between Meals & Overnight




Basal Insulin


Breakfast Lunch Dinner


Nutritional Glucose

The 50/50 Rule





Basal Glucose



















Time of Day

Adapted from

Maynard & Wesorick, Society of Hospital Medicine, 2008 J. Whitman, Perioperative Glucose Control, Webcast 2012

Current best practices
Current Best Practices Hyperglycemia

  • Insulin infusion:

    • If NPO and unstable.

  • Basal insulin:

    • Covers the baseline insulin needs.

    • Essential for all type 1 diabetics to prevent ketosis.

    • In most cases should be given even if patient is NPO.

  • Nutritional insulin:

    • Covers increases in serum glucose after caloric intake.

  • Correctional insulin:

    • Additional to scheduled nutritional dose.

      Wisse, 2012

      Adapted from Whitman, 2012 WSHA Webcast

Oral hypoglycemic agents
Oral Hypoglycemic Agents Hyperglycemia


Why not sliding scale
Why Not Sliding Scale? Hyperglycemia

BG (mg/dL)

Target range





Theoretical glucose levels with SSI

Adapted from Whitman, 2012 WSHA Webcast

Perioperative blood glucose control
Perioperative Blood Glucose Control Hyperglycemia

Protocols and Standing Orders

  • Perioperative Blood Glucose Control Protocol

  • Insulin Pump Standing Orders

  • SQ Insulin Standing Orders

Pre operative period
Pre-Operative Period Hyperglycemia

  • ALLpatients with a blood glucose of 180mg/dl and greater.

  • Regardless of diabetes diagnosis or not.

  • NOTto be used on OB patients, 23 hour admits or those admitted with DKA or HHS (hyperglycemic crises)

    Review the protocol

Intra operative glucose control period
Intra-operative Glucose Control HyperglycemiaPeriod

  • Measure BG at induction and 1h into case.

    • Anesthesia associated with hyperglycemia even in non-diabetic subjects.

  • Measure BG every 1h in Type 1 DM patients.

  • Method of glycemic control intra-operatively.

    • IV insulin (DM1, critically ill, neurosurgery, TBI).

    • Basal insulin with bolus correction doses.

    • Some hospitals have placed glucometers on every anesthesia cart.

Wisse, 2012

Post operative period
Post-Operative Period Hyperglycemia

  • Initiate for BG >140 mg/dL x2 or >180 mg/dL range

  • Goal range 110-180 mg/dL

  • Standard infusions are regular insulin 100ml/100 units on

    a dedicated line

Post-Operative HyperglycemiaPeriod (cont)

  • Check BG every hour until at goal

  • Then decrease BG checks to every 2 hours

  • Hourly checks should always be resumed if patient falls outside of goal range

Key steps in transitioning off the insulin pump
Key Steps in Transitioning Off the Insulin Pump Hyperglycemia

  • Suggested Criteria

  • BG range 90-140 mg/dL .

  • Stable insulin infusion rate.

  • Nutrition intake is current or anticipated.

  • Need last four hours of insulin drip data.

  • Do know criteria for transitioning off insulin


  • DO overlap SC and IV Insulin. Minimize

    hyperglycemia because of short ½ life of IV insulin.

  • DO use rapid analogs (Apidra) after meal if uncertain patient will eat.

  • DO expect basal and nutritional insulin if patient is eating.

  • DO ensure adequate food intake when switching patients with ketotic diabetes to SC insulin

  • DO arrange for follow-up post hospitalization even if insulin is temporary.

Carlson, et al., 2006

Adapted from Whitman 2012 WSHA Webcast

Transition algorithm
Transition Algorithm Hyperglycemia

  • Transition any time of day.

  • Give basal insulin 2hrs prior to stopping IV insulin.

  • TDD of SC basal insulin = IV units insulin used last 4 hrs x 5.

  • Also give nutritional insulin if timing with a meal.

    Carlson R. et al. Chest. 2006; Adapted from Wisse, 2012

  • Adapted from Whitman 2012 WSHA webcast

Signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia
Signs and Symptoms of Hypoglycemia Hyperglycemia

Hypoglycemia can occur without symptoms, so it is important to check blood glucose levels regularly.

Adapted from Whitman, 2012 WSHA Webcast

Treating hypoglycemia 3 steps
Treating Hypoglycemia: 3 Steps Hyperglycemia

Give 15g of glucose or Wait 15 mins Recheck BG – give another fast-acting another 15g if carbohydrate necessary

4oz (1/2 cup) fruit juice * Assess for cause

8 oz (1 cup) milk

1 Tbsp honey

IV Dextrose

Goal to restore BG above 100

Avoid overtreatment (excessive amount of glucose),

which may result in significant hyperglycemia over next 4-6 hrs.

Adapted from Whitman, 2012 WSHA Webcast

Patient care flow sheet blood glucose section

The section of this documentation form is appropriate for all nurses to review whether they are on Med/Surg, Telemetry, or Critical Care units.

Documentation of blood glucose control issues include documenting the hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia as well as the treatment. Look closely at this section:

PATIENT CARE FLOW SHEET: Blood Glucose Section

Glucose control an example

Smooth Transition: all nurses to review whether they are on Med/

Inpatient to Outpatient

Glucose Control: an Example

  • If discharging patient new to insulin:

    • Make the decision as early as possible.

    • Teach, teach, teach.

    • Early follow-up a must.

    • Pens vs. vial/syringe.

  • If changing outpatient regimen significantly:

    • Communicate with PCP.

    • Document rationale.

    • Educate patient.

Wisse, 2012,

Adapted from Whitman 2012 WSHA webcast

The finish line
THE FINISH LINE!!! all nurses to review whether they are on Med/


You have finished the

Surgical Glucose Control:

Policies, Procedures, and Protocols

Learning Module

If you have any questions, please contact your Clinical Educator, your unit’s Diabetes Champion, or one of the Diabetes Educators.