Background Hyperglycemia post-cardiac surgery is associated with poor clinical outcomes. Recent studies suggest maintaining liberal glycemic control (< 180 mg/dL) using a continuous insulin infusion (CII) versus strict control achieves optimal outcomes and prevents hypoglycemia. Purpose To develop, implement and evaluate a nurse managed liberal CII protocol. Methods Retrospective review of 144 strict CII patient records and 147 liberal CII patient records. Results Mean blood glucose was 159.8 mg/dL (liberal CII) compared to 143.3 mg/dL (strict CII) (p ≤ 0.001). No surgical site infections occurred in either group. Mean ICU length of stay was 4.5 days (liberal) versus 4.4 days (strict) (p = 0.74). Two 30-day mortalities occurred for the liberal cohort compared to no deaths in the strict group (p = 0.49). Hypoglycemia incidence within 24 h after surgery was 0.1% (liberal) compared to 0.3% (strict) compared to (p = 0.16). Conclusion Use of a nurse managed liberal CII resulted in similar outcomes with fewer incidents of hypoglycemia.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes