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"We observed that patients were converted to SC therapy using a lower transition percentage than previously described" Alshaya et al (2021).

Transitioning from IV to subcutaneous insulin


Background: Intravenous (IV) insulin is commonly used for the management of hyperglycemia in critically ill patients. However, an assessment of real-world practices for the transition process from IV to Subcutaneous (SC) is lacking.

Objective: The objective of this study was to describe the real-world practice during insulin transition from IV to SC in intensive care unit (ICU) patients. Setting ICUs at a tertiary medical center.

Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study. Data were obtained from electronic medical records for all ICU patients for whom insulin infusions were ordered between Nov 2017-2018. Adult ICU patients were included if they were transitioned to a SC insulin regimen after spending at least 6 h on IV insulin infusion. Data collected include blood glucose readings, transition percentage, and the type of insulin regimen used after transition. Main outcome measure Assessment of the transition percentage and dysglycemic events during the insulin transition process from IV to SC.

Results: Two hundred patients with 4702 blood glucose checks were included. Of the included patients, 65% (130/200) were transitioned to a basal insulin-containing regimen. The median transition percentage in those patients was 45% . In the overall cohort, the number of patients who developed moderate and severe hypoglycemia was significantly higher prior to transition, while hyperglycemia was significantly higher after insulin transition.

Conclusion: We observed that patients were converted to SC therapy using a lower transition percentage than previously described. More data are needed to optimize the transition process in critically ill patients.


Alshaya AI, DeGrado JR, Lupi KE, Szumita PM. Safety and efficacy of transitioning from intravenous to subcutaneous insulin in critically ill patients. Int J Clin Pharm. 2021 Sep 9. doi: 10.1007/s11096-021-01325-z. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34499290.