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MINNEAPOLIS – Emergency departments routinely treat hyperglycemia in patients, but one of the reasons for doing so – preventing repeat ED visits – doesn’t appear to be affected by the practice.
High blood glucose levels are frequently detected when providing emergency care, according to a report in Annals of Emergency Medicine, and the condition usually is treated to prevent short-term outcomes such as diabetic ketoacidosis, repeat ED visits, and hospitalization.
“If ED glycemic control, and thus the discharge glucose value, is not associated with short-term outcomes, then perhaps the most important intervention would be ensuring appropriate outpatient follow-up, with the goal to maintain long-term proper glycemic control,” suggest the authors, led by researchers from the Department of Emergency Medicine, Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.
Background information in the article notes that hyperglycemia and diabetes-related emergency visits make up about 1% of ED encounters. Often, the researchers add, moderate hyperglycemia is seen without concomitant acute illness.