If you are not diabetic and you are hospitalized, your blood sugar level is probably the last thing on your mind. But the fact is that high blood sugar during hospitalization for serious illness increases your risk of infection and death.
Roughly one third of patients experience hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, during their hospital stay, and many of those patients don’t have diabetes or are undiagnosed. Blood sugar levels tend to go higher when a patient is critically ill, for example, after heart surgery – a condition referred to as stress hyperglycemia. Stress hyperglycemia in seriously ill patients worsens outcomes – higher medical costs, higher incidence of infection and readmission to the hospital, and higher mortality rates.
Until recently there were no national standards of care for managing hyperglycemia in the inpatient setting. That changed with the 2005 release of the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) Clinical Practice Guidelines – the ADA’s first guidelines relating to inpatient hyperglycemic care. By adopting and implementing these guidelines, the University of Kentucky HealthCare Chandler Medical Center is making huge strides in assuring that hyperglycemic patients don’t fall through the cracks.
Melanie Jackson | EurekAlert!
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