Disruption of blood sugar levels after heart surgery can lead to a four-fold increase in death and serious complications in non-diabetic patients, according to research.
A team from the University of Bristol found that inadequate blood sugar control happened in more than half of patients who were not thought to be diabetic.
The study, led by Dr Raimondo Ascione, reader and consultant in cardiac surgery at the Bristol Heart Institute, urged surgeons, pharmacists and intensive care specialists to use strict protocols of active blood sugar control in all patients admitted for major surgery.
Dr Ascione said: “Important clinical decisions are often left to the individual clinician. These include: which screening tests, if any, to use on admission; whether or not to use a blood glucose control strategy during hospital stay, which level of blood glucose to target, and whether this targeting has to be strict or lenient.”
The findings, which have been published in the journal Circulation, suggest that inadequate control of blood sugar irrespective of diabetes mellitus is associated with four-fold increase of in-hospital mortality and major complications including a near three-fold increase heart attack, and jumps in neurological, kidney, lung and gastrointestinal injuries.
Dr Ascione added: “We believe the findings of our study might apply also to all those non-cardiac surgery patients admitted for any other major surgical procedure worldwide.”
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