A hospitalized patient may develop hypoglycemia for a number of reasons. Failure to detect hypoglycemia can result in serious complications, especially to the central nervous system.


Risk factors for serious hypoglycemia in a hospitalized patient:

(1) unconsciousness or sedation (unable to report hypoglycemic symptoms)

(2) sudden reduction in carbohydrate delivery (decrease in infusion rate of intravenous dextrose, parenteral nutrition or enteral feedings)

(3) excessive insulin dosage or inappropriate timing for a dose relative to carbohydrate intake

(4) reduction in dose or discontinuation of a drug causing hyperglycemia (corticosteroids, other)

(5) malignancy

(6) heart failure

(7) renal disease

(8) liver disease

(9) emesis

(10) reduced oral intake or nothing per orum (NPO) status

(11) sepsis

(12) poor care


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