Elevated Glucose in the ER
Published: Wednesday, 18 December 2013 11:13
Over the past few years advancements have been made in the approach to, and management of, elevated blood glucose. In the emergency room, elevated blood glucose (hyperglycemia) is commonly encountered. Often times, patients who present with unrelated problems are coincidentally found to have elevated blood glucose. Many emergency physicians dismiss this finding as a chronic finding and therefore, do not investigate further. But this is a mistake that often results in an adverse patient outcome, and later a medical-legal inquiry and possibly a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Elevated blood glucose can be a tip-off that there are serious metabolic abnormalites present. A detailed investigation is warranted in the ER because many of these patients are asymptomatic and will not seek follow-up medical care until they become symptomatic, by which time their condition may be far advanced. The following review article on the approach to hyperglycemia in the ER is current and represents the standard of care approach to these patients.
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