Background and purpose: Stress-induced hyperglycemia (SIH) is common in patients in intensive care units (ICUs). It is associated with adverse consequences such as increased length of stay in ICU, increased risk of infections, and high mortality. This study examined the prevalence of SIH and its therapeutic approach in an intensive care unit.
Materials and methods: A retrospective descriptive-analytical study was performed using the medical records of patients in ICU in Imam Khomeini Hospital, Sari, Iran, 2013. All patients stayed more than 24 hours and experienced stress hyperglycemia were included in the study. The guidelines of American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists/American Diabetes Association (AACE/ADA), 2009 were used as standards for management of the SIH.
Results: Eight hundred medical records were evaluated. The mean age of patients was 59 ± 22 years. The rate of SIH was 5.7% in 667 non-diabetic patients. The most common cause for ICU admission was gastrointestinal disorders (34.2%). Among the patients with SIH, 63% had parenteral nutrition and 42.1% received corticosteroids. Sliding Scale Insulin (SSI) and infusion method were used in 26 (68.4%) and 12 patients (28.9%), respectively. The mortality rate was 44.7%.
Conclusion: Compared with other studies, lower prevalence of hyperglycemia in ICU was seen in current study, so, blood glucose monitoring (every 6 h) was associated with better outcomes. In this study, most of the patients received SSI, but according to the AACE/ADA guidelines, insulin infusion method is preferred for management of hyperglycemia. In order to reduce the episodes of hypoglycemia and mortality, insulin infusion method is recommended for controlling hyperglycemia.