Hyperglycemia in acute stroke patients increases cerebral infarct size and worsens neurologic outcome with and without preexisting diabetes mellitus. Hyperglycemia results from metabolic alterations in glucose metabolism, and is most common in patients with acute illness such as stroke. Strict control of hyperglycemia with intensive insulin therapy has been shown to dramatically decrease hospital morbidity and mortality, inpatient stays, hospital costs, and, most importantly, neurologic injury. Insulin treatment protocols developed and implemented by multidisciplinary teams allow for rapid and effective control of hyperglycemia. Nurses who know about hyperglycemia's often-neglected and detrimental effects can play a vital role in influencing outcomes in stroke patients.
Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Alison S. Paolino, MNS RN ACNP, 5766 Vinings Retreat Way, Mableton, GA 30126, or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. She is is a neuroscience critical care nurse practitioner at Emory University Hospital, Atlanta, GA.
Krista M. Garner, MSN RN ANCP is a is a neuroscience critical care nurse practitioner at Emory University Hospital, Atlanta, GA.
© 2005 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses