What is the most serious adverse effect of IV insulin therapy?

Updated: Nov 06, 2018
  • Author: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Accurate serum glucose levels are crucial to for the successful implementation of any intravenous insulin protocol. Timely and accurate glucose levels guide the dosing of insulin throughout the use of intravenous insulin impacting decisions on implementation, adjustment, and discontinuation. Hypoglycemia is the most feared adverse effect of intravenous insulin therapy, not only for its impact on neurologic function but also because of the association of hypoglycemia with increased mortality; warning signs of hypoglycemia are often difficult to appreciate in the critically ill patient.


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