Diabetes Control in Pregnancy - Part I

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Objectives

  1. Discuss the different classifications of diabetes and the complications that may be seen in the pregnant diabetic, especially if poorly controlled.
  2. Explain how blood sugar values are determined and how to prepare insulin for infusion.
  3. Calculate the C/I (calorie to insulin) ratio and the initial intravenous insulin infusion rates for patients who are NPO.
  4. Calculate the initial intravenous insulin infusion rates for those patients who are on an ADA diet or are being converted to a diet after being NPO.

Article

Diabetes Control In Pregnancy – Part I.

Author: Tamerou Asrat, M.D.

Objectives: Upon the completion of this CME article, the reader will be able to:

  1. Discuss the different classifications of diabetes and the complications that may be seen in the pregnant diabetic, especially if poorly controlled.
  2. Explain how blood sugar values are determined and how to prepare insulin for infusion.
  3. Calculate the C/I (calorie to insulin) ratio and the initial intravenous insulin infusion rates for patients who are NPO.
  4. Calculate the initial intravenous insulin infusion rates for those patients who are on an ADA diet or are being converted to a diet after being NPO. 

Introduction

Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common medical disorders found in pregnancy with an occurrence rate of about 2% to 3%. Approximately 90% of these cases are gestational diabetes where the diagnosis was made during the pregnancy. Women who have diabetes mellitus prior to the onset of pregnancy are classified as having pre-gestational diabetes. Suboptimal treatment of this disease (gestational or pre-gestational diabetes) is associated with significant maternal, fetal, and neonatal morbidity and mortality. Therefore, tight control of blood sugar becomes a principal goal.

Diabetes is often categorized by the National Diabetes Data Group Classification, which is seen in Table I. Another classification system that may be utilized in pregnancy is White’s Classification, which is a letter system (seen in Table II). This letter system breaks diabetes down based on the severity and duration of the disease; however, many of the complications associated with diabetes in pregnancy can cross these boundaries.

 

Table I: National Diabetes Data Group Classification

Nomenclature

Old Name

Clinical Features / Factors

Type I (IDDM)

Juvenile-onset

Ketosis prone / insulin deficient

Type II (NIDDM)

Adult-onset

Ketosis resistant / insulin resistant

Risk factors include obesity, increasing age, and family history

Type III (GDM)

Gestational

Occurs only in pregnancy

Type IV (secondary diabetes)

 

Secondary to other medical conditions such as Cushing’s Syndrome, Cystic Fibrosis, Acromegaly, etc.

IDDM = insulin dependent diabetes mellitus NIDDM = non-insulin dependent diabetes

Table II: White’s Classification of Diabetes during pregnancy

Class

Classification

Maternal Status

Therapy

A-1

Diagnosis in pregnancy

No vascular disease

Diet only

A-2

Diagnosis in pregnancy

No vascular disease

Insulin

B

Diagnosis over age of 20 and less than 10 years duration

No vascular disease

Insulin

C

Diagnosis between the ages of 10 and 19 and or duration of 10 to 19 years

No vascular disease

Insulin

D

Diagnosis prior to the age of 10 and or duration of > 20 years

Benign retinopathy or

No vascular disease

Insulin

F

Diagnosis any age or any duration

Nephropathy

Insulin

H

Diagnosis any age or any duration

Diabetic heart disease

Insulin

R

Diagnosis any age or any duration

Proliferative retinopathy

Insulin

T

Diagnosis any age or any duration

Renal transplant

Insulin

Classes F, H, R, and T are based on the mother’s medical status regardless of the age of onset or duration of the diabetes because these medical problems are related to vascular disease that is caused by the diabetes. If a pregnant woman has benign retinopathy, she is classified as Class D regardless of the age of onset or duration of the diabetes. (As another example, if a pregnant woman with no vascular disease was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 22 and becomes pregnant at the age of 35, she would be classified as a "C" based on 13 years duration rather than a "B" based on age of onset.) Finally, many patients classified as A-2 diabetics may in reality have Class B diabetes but were not evaluated by the medical profession until they became pregnant. Again, as stated above, White’s Classification is a system that tries to differentiate diabetes based on the severity and or duration of the illness with the caveat that more complications may be seen in the patients with more significant disease.

Maternal complications that are associated with diabetes (with an increased risk seen in those with poor control) include hypertension (with an increased risk for developing pregnancy induced hypertension or pre-eclampsia), urinary tract infections, vaginal yeast infections, spontaneous abortion, polyhydramnios (excess amniotic fluid), an increased risk of having a cesarean section delivery, an increased risk of delivering preterm, and ketoacidosis. Table III depicts some of these risks based on White’s Classification.

Table III: Maternal morbidity seen in pregnancy based on White’s Classification

Complication

Classes A-1 and A-2

Classes B & C

Classes D, F, R etc.

Pre-eclampsia

10%

14%

20%

Chronic hypertension

10%

10%

17%

Total hypertension

15%

18%

31%

Ketoacidosis

3%

7%

9%

Polyhydramnios

5%

13%

18%

Preterm labor

8%

10%

10%

Cesarean section

22%

44%

57%

Neonatal complications can include significant hypoglycemia (that requires therapy), polycythemia (an elevated number of red blood cells that may require a partial exchange transfusion in order to decrease the hematocrit), respiratory distress syndrome (from immature lung development), hyperbilirubinemia, and asphyxia (from poor placental transfer of oxygen). The fetal risks can include stillbirth (also from poor placental transfer of oxygen), macrosomia (large baby), growth restriction (small baby), and congenital anomalies. Though most medical teaching describes the risk for having a large baby in women with diabetes, those pregnant women with evidence of vascular disease actually have a risk for decreased fetal growth similar to other vascular disorders in pregnancy (such as chronic hypertension, lupus, etc.).

Congenital anomalies are primarily a concern for those women who have diabetes (especially those with poor control) around the time of conception. Some studies have reported an anomaly rate that is 2 to 3 times above normal for those cases with very poor control at the time of conception. Some of the anomalies that may be associated with diabetes include caudal regression syndrome, spina bifida (or neural tube defects), hydrocephalus, cardiac anomalies (such as transposition of the great vessels and ventricular septal defects), renal malformations (such as agenesis, cystic anomalies, and ureter duplication), and situs inversus (where the abdominal and sometimes the thoracic organs are reversed in their location).

Many of the above maternal, neonatal, and fetal complications can be minimized by good glucose control. Therefore, tight control for the pregnant diabetic is of paramount importance. This two-part article will primarily discuss two methods where the pharmacist can participate in achieving good blood sugar control for a pregnant woman with diabetes (either gestational or pre-gestational). Unfortunately, the risk for congenital anomalies can only be minimized by good glucose control prior to and at the time of conception, which is before the diagnosis of pregnancy. The treatment discussed in this two-part article will not play a major role in decreasing this anomaly risk but can impact many of the others listed above.

Because diabetes in pregnancy is a complicated disorder, a team approach to management can be very useful. This team should include the obstetrician, endocrinologist or perinatologist, and pharmacist. The pharmacist’s role can involve the initial treatment and education of those pregnant women who are newly diagnosed with diabetes during pregnancy. In addition, the pharmacist can be part of the team that manages the pregnant diabetic once she is admitted to the hospital. Pregnancy also has other aspects that can impact the disease and its treatment including hyperemesis, infection, surgery, and the use of medications such as the beta sympathomimetic drugs and corticosteroids.

Blood Glucose Determination

The patient’s blood glucose can be determined by the laboratory (which will lead to some delay in obtaining the result) or can be obtained at the bedside by a portable glucometer. The glucometer would be the preferred method because of the instant result. However, it is important to realize that whole venous blood levels are about 15% lower than plasma levels (which are obtained by the laboratory). Therefore, the blood glucose goal by glucometer is 60 to 110 mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter), which is equal to about 70 to 125 mg/dl from the laboratory.

Preparation of the Insulin Solution

The standard solution consists of 50 units of Regular Human Insulin added to 500 ml of normal saline. This yields a solution containing about 0.1 units of insulin per ml (the actual concentration is slightly less due to overfill of the normal saline bottle/bag and the small amount of insulin that is lost to binding on the container and tubing wall). Patients who are on fluid restriction (such as those with pre-eclampsia) or those who require very high dosages of insulin may need a more concentrated solution. This can be achieved by a double concentration, which consists of 100 units of Regular Human Insulin added to 500 ml of normal saline that yields a solution of about 0.2 units of insulin per ml.

Initiating Insulin Infusion

Intravenous (IV) insulin should be administered through an infusion pump. It is not recommended that IV boluses of insulin be administered because of the potential for severe hypoglycemic reactions. Intravenous insulin therapy will depend on whether the patient was using insulin prior to admission and whether or not she is NPO. If the patient was using insulin prior to admission, then it should be possible to calculate a Calorie/Insulin ratio (C/I) by determining the daily caloric intake of the pregnant woman divided by the total amount of insulin the patient was receiving. (The type of insulin utilized by the patient is not considered in this calculation.) For example: if a patient was on a 2200 calorie ADA diet and she was injecting a total of 55 units of insulin per day, then her C/I ratio would be 40. It should be noted that this C/I ratio is only a "rough" estimate of the number of calories that are handled by 1 unit of insulin. Several factors can affect this calculation including the patient’s diabetic control prior to admission, the accuracy of the amount of calories she actually consumed per day, her activity level (which will usually be less when they are admitted to the hospital because of bed rest), and other medications she may have been taking.

The next step is to obtain the patient’s current blood sugar level (preferably at the bedside with a glucometer). During IV insulin therapy, a mainline IV should also be running that most often will contain some sugar (usually in the form of dextrose). If the patient’s initial blood sugar is over 300 mg/dl, the mainline IV fluid can consist of a non-dextrose solution. This should be changed to a dextrose containing solution when the blood sugar falls below 200 mg/ml. Patients in diabetic ketoacidosis are very complicated and require large amounts of fluid replacement as well as insulin and electrolytes. The general guidelines discussed in this article are probably not appropriate and these patients should only be managed under the strict guidance of a physician familiar with this significant disorder.

The initial infusion rate is dependent upon the patient’s initial blood sugar level and whether she was using insulin prior to admission. Again, it should be noted that this is just a starting point and the rate can be affected by other drugs the mother might be receiving (such as beta sympathomimetic agents or corticosteroids that are discussed in Part II of this series) as well as her diet (NPO or not) and whether she is receiving dextrose in the mainline. Table IV describes the suggested starting rate based on the mother’s blood sugar level an no prior history of insulin usage.

Table IV: Initial insulin infusion rate based on the mother’s blood sugar level and no prior history of insulin usage

Blood Glucose Level

Initial Insulin Infusion Rate

< 120 mg/dl

0.0 units/hour

120 – 149 mg/dl

2.0 units/hour

150 – 199 mg/dl

3.0 units/hour

200 – 249 mg/dl

4.0 units/hour

250 – 299 mg/dl

5.0 units/hour

300 – 349 mg/dl

6.0 units/hour

350 – 400 mg/dl

7.0 units/hour

Clinical experience is a "major" component of this guideline and the initial infusion rates can be modified if suggested by this experience. Once the infusion rate is begun, another blood sugar should be obtained 1 hour after starting the therapy. This next value will help determine if the rate should be increased, maintained, or decreased. If the blood sugar is markedly elevated at the start of therapy (over 250 mg/dl), the best approach (if possible) is to drop the blood sugar over a period of time rather than have it drop by a large amount in a short time period. This helps avoid large swings in the blood sugar that may affect electrolyte balance, etc.

If the patient was receiving insulin therapy prior to admission, the initial infusion rate can include the C/I ratio information. Most patients who are placed on an insulin infusion start out NPO and therefore, the only caloric intake would be dextrose in the IV (if the IV mainline contains dextrose). For example, lets assume the patient’s C/I ratio is 50 and she is receiving D5LR at 125 cc per hour. D5LR is an IV solution that contains 5% glucose, which is 50 grams in a liter of fluid. One gram of sugar is roughly equal to 4 calories. Therefore, at an IV rate of 125 cc/hr, the patient is receiving 25 calories per hour. If her initial blood sugar was 210 mg/dl, based on Table IV and her C/I ratio, she would start at 4.5 units/hour, which is 4.0 units/hour from Table IV based on her initial blood sugar of 210 mg/dl plus 0.5 units/hour from her C/I ratio. This 0.5 units/hour is based on the fact that her C/I is 50, which means 1 unit of insulin handles 50 calories. Because she will be receiving 25 calories per hour through her IV, she would take about 0.5 units of insulin per hour to cover that amount (25 divided by 50 equals 0.5). Again, these initial infusion rates are only starting points and will be adjusted based on future blood sugars that will be obtained. It is recommended that the next blood sugar be obtained 1 hour after the therapy is begun and this value will help determine if the rate should be increased, maintained, or decreased.

Once the initial insulin infusion rate has been altered based on the blood sugar that was obtained after the first hour of treatment, subsequent blood sugars will be obtained every 1 to 2 hours spacing further apart when the patient is more stable. On average, most patients will require a blood sugar test at least every 2 hours during the first 24 hours of therapy. Depending on how long the patient is treated, the frequency of obtaining blood sugar values may eventually space out to every 3 to 4 hours. Once the infusion has been active for a period of time and a pattern is developed, the insulin infusion should be temporarily turned off if the patient’s blood sugar falls below 60 mg/dl, even if she is receiving IV dextrose. It can be re-instituted once the glucose value is back above 60 mg/dl.

Insulin Infusion with the Patient on an ADA Diet

Typically, when a patient is started on an insulin infusion, they are NPO. The only calories they may be obtaining would be through the mainline IV solution, which is easy to calculate as discussed above. However, the ultimate goal of this therapy is to convert the patient to a subcutaneous treatment regiment that will consist of the total amount of insulin they will require in a 24-hour period that can adequately handle a specified ADA diet. Therefore, most patients on an insulin infusion will be placed on an ADA diet. A physician or a diabetic nutritionist will most often determine the calorie amount of this diet. This type of insulin infusion is somewhat different than the one discussed above because it must anticipate the insulin needs rather than react to the last blood sugar value obtained.

Many protocols have been published regarding recommendations for the caloric intake of the pregnant patient; however, each patient is different and she must be individualized. In order to determine the rate of insulin infusion for a given meal, two factors are needed. The first factor is the estimated calories to be consumed in the meal and the second is the patient’s C/I ratio for the past 24 hours while on the infusion, assuming that the patient was fairly well controlled for the prior 24 hours. Again the C/I ratio for the preceding 24 hours includes the total number of insulin units received and the total number of calories obtained. For example, lets say the patient was completely NPO for the prior 24 hours but received D5LR at 125cc/hr and was administered 40 units of insulin. This would equal 3 liters of dextrose fluid or about 600 calories. Therefore her C/I ratio would be 15 for the past 24 hours (600 calories divided by 40 units of insulin).

The information in the last paragraph is used to determine how the insulin infusion rate will change once the patient eats a meal. This is calculated by taking the number of calories in the meal divided by the C/I ratio. This value is the estimated amount of insulin that will be required during the 3 hours that follow the consumption of the meal. Again, it is probably easier to explain this with an example. Using the patient from the preceding paragraph, her C/I ratio was 15 and lets say her current blood sugar is normal at 90 mg/dl. Her current infusion rate prior to eating the meal is at 2 units per hour while on D5LR. This D5LR infusion will be changed to a non-dextrose containing solution because her calories will be coming from the meal. The meal she is about to eat contains an estimated 540 calories. Dividing these 540 calories by her C/I ratio of 15 gives us a total of 36 units that she will require over the next 3 hours. Dividing these 36 units by 3 gives us 12 units per hour. This means that her current rate of 2 units per hour will be increased to 12 units per hour (an increase of 10 units/hour) for the 3 hours that follow her consumption of the meal. When this process first begins, it may be necessary to check postprandial blood sugars every hour (for 2 to 3 hours) to determine if the estimated infusion rate is accurate or needs altering. In addition, it is imperative that someone determines that the full meal was indeed eaten. If not, the infusion rate may need to be decreased in order to prevent a hypoglycemic reaction. Based on the information obtained with the initial meal, estimates are then made for all of the subsequent meals.

Part II of this series will discuss how the patient is converted to subcutaneous therapy. In addition, management of hypoglycemic reactions and how therapy is altered under certain circumstances will also be reviewed. In summary, management of the pregnant diabetic is challenging, however, the best outcomes occur in patients who are well controlled. The information supplied in Part I and Part II of this series should be considered as rough guidelines, not as strict protocols. In addition, the best approach is the team approach where the physician, pharmacist, nurse, and dietician work together. In this system, different parameters from those listed in this series may be adopted based on personal experience and or preference.

References or Suggested Reading:

  1. Weiner CP, Faustich M, Burns J, et al. The relationship between capillary and venous glucose concentration during pregnancy. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1986;155:61-4.
  2. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Technical Bulletin No. 200, December 1994, Diabetes and Pregnancy.
  3. De Veciana M, Major CA, Morgan MA, Asrat T, et al Postprandial versus preprandial blood glucose monitoring in women with gestational diabetes mellitus requiring insulin therapy. N Engl J Med 1995;333:1237-41.
  4. Jovanovic-Peterson L, Peterson CM. Pregnancy in the diabetic woman. Guidelines for a successful outcome. Endocrinol Metab Clinics N Am 1992;21:433-56.
  5. Sagraves R, Letassy NA, Barton TL. Obstetrics. Applied Therapeutics: The Clinical Use of Drugs. 6th Edition. Young LY and Koda-Kimble MA, eds. Vancouver, WA. Applied Therapeutics, Inc. 1995:44/9-44/12.
  6. Koda-Kimble MA, Carlisle BA. Diabetes Mellitus. Applied Therapeutics: The Clinical Use of Drugs. 6th Edition. Young LY and Koda-Kimble MA, eds. Vancouver, WA. Applied Therapeutics, Inc. 1995:48/1-48/62.
  7. Moore TR. Diabetes in pregnancy. Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Principles and Practice. 3rd Edition. Creasy RK and Resnik R, eds. Philadelphia, PA. Saunders Co. 1994:935-78.
  8. Lucas MJ. Diabetes complicating pregnancy. Review. Obstet Gynecol Clin North AM. 2001 September;28(3):513-36.
  9. Eriksson UJ, Borg LA, Cederberg J, et al. Pathogenesis of diabetes-induced congenital malformations. Review. Ups J Med Sci. 2000;105:53-84.
  10. Coetzee EJ, Levitt NS. Maternal diabetes and neonatal outcome. Review. Semin Neonatol. 2000;5:221-9.

About the Author(s)

Dr. Tamerou Asrat is a Board Certified in Obstetrics & Gynecology as well as Maternal-Fetal Medicine (Perinatology). He currently is the Residency and Medical Student Education Coordinator at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Santa Clara, California. He serves as a peer-review manuscript reviewer for several journals including the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Obstetrics and Gynecology. In addition, he was the Medical Director of Region VIII for the California Diabetes in Pregnancy Program. Dr. Asrat has received numerous teaching awards and has more than 50 publications in various medical journals. Dr. Asrat reports no conflicts of interest.

Examination

  1. Approximately ______ of the diabetes cases in pregnancy are gestational diabetes where the diagnosis was made during the pregnancy.
    1. 50%
    2. 60%
    3. 70%
    4. 80%
    5. 90%
  2. Based on the National Diabetes Data Group Classification, a patient who is insulin deficient and ketosis prone is most likely
    1. Type I
    2. Type II
    3. Type III
    4. Type IV
    5. Type V
  3. Based on the National Diabetes Data Group Classification, a patient who develops diabetes secondary to Cystic Fibrosis is most likely
    1. Type I
    2. Type II
    3. Type III
    4. Type IV
    5. Type V
  4. Based on White's Classification of diabetes during pregnancy, a patient who received a diagnosis of diabetes at the age of 14 and is now pregnant at the age of 25 and who has benign retinopathy would be classified as
    1. Class A-2
    2. Class B
    3. Class C
    4. Class D
    5. Class R
  5. Based on White's Classification of diabetes during pregnancy, a patient who received a diagnosis of diabetes at the age of 21 and is now pregnant at the age of 34 and who has no evidence of vascular disease would be classified as
    1. Class A-2
    2. Class B
    3. Class C
    4. Class D
    5. Class F
  6. Maternal complications that may be associated with diabetes include all of the following EXCEPT
    1. Hypertension
    2. Polycythemia
    3. Urinary tract infections
    4. Ketoacidosis
    5. Polyhydramnios
  7. Neonatal complications that may be associated with diabetes include all of the following EXCEPT
    1. Hyperglycemia
    2. Hyperbilirubinemia
    3. Respiratory distress syndrome
    4. Polycythemia
    5. Asphyxia
  8. Some studies have reported a fetal anomaly rate that is _____ times above normal for those diabetic cases with very poor control at the time of conception.
    1. 1 to 2
    2. 2 to 3
    3. 4 to 5
    4. 5 to 7
    5. 8 to 10
  9. When a diabetic patient (who is not in very good control) is diagnosed as being pregnant, bringing her under good control can decrease the risk of all of the following potential complications EXCEPT
    1. stillbirth
    2. maternal pre-eclampsia
    3. neonatal asphyxia
    4. polyhydramnios
    5. congenital anomalies
  10. It is important to realize that whole venous blood levels are about _______ than plasma levels (which are obtained by the laboratory).
    1. 15% higher
    2. 25% higher
    3. 15% lower
    4. 5% lower
    5. 30% lower
  11. The standard insulin solution that consists of 50 units of Regular Human Insulin added to 500 ml of normal saline yields a solution containing about
    1. 0.1 units of insulin per dl
    2. 1.0 unit of insulin per ml
    3. 0.1 units of insulin per ml
    4. 1.0 unit of insulin per dl
    5. 10 units of insulin per ml
  12. If a patient was on a 2400 calorie ADA diet and she was injecting a total of 64 units of insulin per day, her C/I ratio (calorie to insulin ratio) would be
    1. 35.7
    2. 53.7
    3. 37.5
    4. 57.3
    5. 73.5
  13. When a patient is started on an insulin infusion a mainline IV is also running. If the initial blood sugar is markedly elevated, the mainline may be a non-dextrose solution, but this should be changed to a dextrose containing solution when the blood sugar falls below
    1. 400 mg/ml
    2. 300 mg/ml
    3. 60 mg/ml
    4. 100 mg/ml
    5. 200 mg/ml
  14. Based on the table presented in this article, the suggested initial infusion rate for a patient with no prior history of insulin usage who has a blood sugar of 267 would be
    1. 1 unit per hour
    2. 2 units per hour
    3. 3 units per hour
    4. 4 units per hour
    5. 5 units per hour
  15. Assume a patient who was on insulin therapy prior to admission has a C/I ratio of 25 and she is receiving D5LR at 125 cc per hour. She is made NPO and therefore, the only caloric intake would be the dextrose in the mainline IV. If her initial blood sugar were 189 mg/dl, based on the table in this article and her C/I ratio, the initial insulin infusion rate would be
    1. 1 unit per hour
    2. 2 units per hour
    3. 3 units per hour
    4. 4 units per hour
    5. 5 units per hour
  16. Once an insulin infusion is started based on the initial blood sugar, it is recommended that the next blood sugar be obtained in
    1. 1 hour
    2. 2 hours
    3. 3 hours
    4. 4 hours
    5. 5 hours
  17. Insulin infusion for a patient on an ADA diet is different than a person who is NPO. When the patient is converted from NPO to receiving meals, in order to determine the rate of insulin infusion for a given meal, two factors are needed, which are the
    1. estimated calories to be consumed in the meal and the patient's weight
    2. estimated calories to be consumed in the meal and the patient's C/I ratio for the past 24 hours while on the infusion
    3. patient's C/I ratio for the past 24 hours while on the infusion and her weight
    4. patient's C/I ratio for the past 24 hours while on the infusion and the IV infusion rate
    5. IV infusion rate and the estimated calories to be consumed in the meal
  18. If a patient was completely NPO for 24 hours but received D5LR at 125cc/hr, the total number of calories she received in that 24-hour period would be approximately (remember, 125cc/hr is equal to 1 liter in 8 hours, that each liter has 50 grams of sugar, and there are about 4 calories per gram of sugar)
    1. 600 calories
    2. 300 calories
    3. 1000 calories
    4. 200 calories
    5. 1600 calories
  19. A patient is being converted from NPO to an ADA diet on an insulin infusion and her current blood sugar is normal at 95 mg/dl. Her C/I ratio is 25 and the meal she is about to eat has 600 calories. Using this information, she will need a total of about _______ over the next 3 hours.
    1. 4 units
    2. 24 units
    3. 8 units
    4. 6.3 units
    5. 10 units
  20. When a patient is being converted from NPO to an ADA diet on an insulin infusion, with the first meal, it may be necessary to check postprandial blood sugars every hour (for 2 to 3 hours) to determine if the estimated infusion rate is accurate or needs altering. In addition, it is imperative that
    1. her weight be recorded
    2. she eats the meal at a specific time in the day
    3. her gestational age is known
    4. someone determines that the full meal was indeed eaten
    5. she eats the meal in a 15 minute time period