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Glycemic Control and Intensive Insulin Protocols for Neurologically Injured Patients

Butcavage, Katie

Journal of Neuroscience Nursing: August 2012 - Volume 44 - Issue 4 - p E1–E9
doi: 10.1097/JNN.0b013e3182527656
Article: Online Only

ABSTRACT Hyperglycemia is a common complication that many critically ill patients experience. The increase in serum glucose is known to result in higher mortality and morbidity rates. Recent research has established that there is a benefit in using tight glycemic control protocols for critically ill patients. However, whether treatment guidelines benefit all patient populations remains unclear. Specifically, neurological injuries are known to require adequate glucose to repair cerebral metabolism, making the idea of tight glycemic control controversial. This article will analyze current research relevant to the use of strict glycemic control protocols for the neurologically injured patient by comparing population characteristics, methods, and outcomes to determine whether there is enough evidence to support its implementation in advanced nursing practice.

Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Katie Butcavage, MSN CRNP, at She is an acute care nurse practitioner at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

No funding was received in the writing of this manuscript, and the author declares no conflicts of interest.

© 2012 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses