Remote blood sugar monitoring gadget improves care for ICU patients

Effectively monitoring blood sugar levels in ICU patients can be the difference between life and death.

In the past, this procedure was performed through traditional blood test analysis, which would occur every two to four hours. Yet the time lapse can leave some patients in a dangerous place should their blood sugar levels increase or drop without warning.

Remote device detects blood sugar levels

A new monitoring system device called the Sentrino Continuous Glucose Management System can detect patients' blood sugar levels on a minute-by-minute basis. The device then provides feedback, which is displayed on a bedside monitor. Should levels drop or increase dramatically outside of target range, an alert system will warn doctors and nurses of possible complications. If blood sugar levels change without warning, a separate alarm will sound to prompt immediate attention.

The device contains two probes with four sensors that are hooked into the skin and covered with a dressing.

Importance of glucose monitoring in critically ill patients

Seriously ill patients can suffer from high glucose levels – a response that occurs in reaction to trauma or surgery. High blood sugar levels can increase the risk of infection, so the problem is often treated with insulin therapy. However, this can later cause glucose levels to drop too low and put critically ill patients at risk for complications.

“Until this development, we were reliant on information taken and assessed every two to four hours," said Dr. Paul Diprose, a consultant cardiac anaesthetist, in a statement. "Many of our patients have rapidly changing blood glucose levels and this device can allow much more frequent feedback of levels and allow us to intervene early to attempt to avoid complications.”

A study on the device was presented at a meeting of the Association of Cardiothoracic Anaesthetists in Cambridge.

"The Sentrino® CGM system demonstrated good analytic and clinically relevant accuracy, excellent reliability and safety in critically ill cardiac patients and was easy to use and integrate in the cardiac ICU," wrote authors of the study. "Future studies are needed to determine whether CGM can improve [blood glucose] control and reduce hypoglycemia in this patient group."

Source: Nursing Times

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