February 2007, Volume 37 Number 2 , p 14 - 15
RIDGE, RICHARD A. RN, CNAA, BC, PHD
Richard A. Ridge is corporate director of nursing education at Meridian Health in Neptune, N.J.
ABOUT SEVEN PERCENT of the population of the United States has diabetes, with more than a fourth of them not diagnosed. 1 Many hospitalized patients who haven't been diagnosed with diabetes require insulin to control hyperglycemia related to the stress of treatment or disease. Many patients who normally use oral antidiabetic agents are temporarily managed with insulin during part of their hospital stay. With so many patients using insulin and the complexity of dosing, no wonder it's one of the drugs most often implicated in medication errors and identified as a “high-alert drug” by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices. 2
The American Diabetes Association and many other organizations have reviewed insulin safety and issued recommendations for improving insulin safety in the hospital. 3–6 In this article, I focus on how these guidelines ...