Recurrent hypoglycemia more frequent with lower initial blood glucose

NEW ORLEANS — Lower blood glucose levels and treatment with non-oral glucose medications before receiving emergency medical services, or EMS, during an episode of hypoglycemia may result in additional need for EMS, according to findings presented at the Endocrine Society Annual Meeting.

“Many EMS systems are adopting treat-and-release protocols designed to identify patients who can safely be treated for hypoglycemia in the field without resource-intensive evaluation in an emergency department,” Mark J. O’Connor, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, told Endocrine Today. “This study sheds light on factors that should be taken into consideration when creating such protocols.”

O’Connor and colleagues retrospectively reviewed charts of 549 patients (mean age, 55 years; 35% women) who experienced hypoglycemia and were treated before reaching a hospital with either oral glucose, parenteral dextrose or intramuscular glucagon. Data were collected for 1 year and in the year after hospitalization.

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