Current Diabetes Reports

, 14:445 | Cite as

Inpatient Hypoglycemia: A Challenge That Must Be Addressed

  • Leslie Eiland
  • Whitney Goldner
  • Andjela Drincic
  • Cyrus DesouzaEmail author
Hospital Management of Diabetes (G Umpierrez, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Hospital Management of Diabetes


Hypoglycemia in the inpatient setting is a common occurrence with potentially harmful outcomes. Large trials in both the inpatient and outpatient settings have found a correlation between hypoglycemia and morbidity and mortality. The incidence of hypoglycemia is difficult to assess, due to a lack of standardized definitions and different methods of data collection between hospital systems. Risk factors that predispose to hypoglycemia involve the changing clinical statuses of patients, nutrition issues, and hospital processes. Mechanisms contributing to morbidity due to hypoglycemia may include an increase in sympathoadrenal responses, as well as indirect changes affecting cytokine production, coagulation, fibrinolysis, and endothelial function. Prevention of hypoglycemia requires implementation of several strategies that include patient safety, quality control, multidisciplinary communication, and transitions of care. In this article, we discuss all of these issues and provide suggestions to help predict and prevent hypoglycemic episodes during an inpatient stay. We address the issues that occur upon admission, during the hospital stay, and around the time of discharge. We believe that decreasing the incidence of inpatient hypoglycemia will both decrease costs and improve patient outcomes.


Inpatient Hypoglycemia Diabetes Complications Prevention Insulin 



The contents of this article do not reflect the views of the VA and are the opinion of the authors.

Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Leslie Eiland, Whitney Goldner, Andjela Drincic, and Cyrus Desouza declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leslie Eiland
    • 1
    • 2
  • Whitney Goldner
    • 2
  • Andjela Drincic
    • 2
  • Cyrus Desouza
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.VA Nebraska – Western Iowa Health Care SystemOmahaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and MetabolismUniversity of Nebraska Medical CenterOmahaUSA

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