Papers And Originals

Continuous Intravenous Infusion of Small Doses of Insulin in Treatment of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Br Med J 1974; 2 doi: (Published 29 June 1974) Cite this as: Br Med J 1974;2:694
  1. P. F. Semple,
  2. C. White,
  3. W. G. Manderson


    Continuous intravenous infusion of small amounts of insulin has been used in the management of a series of patients with diabetic ketoacidosis. In 13 patients with a plasma glucose level on admission of 725 mg/100 ml (± 80 S.E. of mean) and an arterial pH of 7·07 ± 0·05 a mean loading dose of 6·5 ± 0·82 units of soluble insulin was administered intravenously, and thereafter a sustaining infusion of 6·5 ± 0·82 U/hr was continued until ketosis was corrected and the plasma glucose fell below 300 mg/100 ml. The total insulin dose needed to achieve this was 39·2 ± 6·6 units given over a 3 to 10-hour period. Plasma insulin was measured in patients who had not previously received insulin and the mean level at an infusion rate of 4 U/hr was 75·6 ± 8·0 μU/ml. Plasma glucose fell at a regular rate of 101 ± 11 mg/100 ml/hr, and ketosis improved in parallel. Plasma potassium was well maintained throughout treatment. This regimen of treatment was clinically effective and simple to follow.