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UC Davis Study Identifies Better Blood Glucose Monitor for Burn Care
Date:8/29/2013

Tran is working with the UC Davis Clinical Laboratory staff to install a flag notification in the electronic health record system to notify physicians about utilizing the hospital’s laboratory analyzer for these high-risk patients.

Traditional hospital lab testing uses plasma (samples devoid of red blood cells), so it remains the most accurate method for measuring blood glucose levels. However, the newer autocorrecting devices use less blood, essentially one drop, and produce results in just five seconds, as opposed to approximately 10 to 20 minutes for lab testing.

“In a critical burn patient, glucose levels can change even within that small time frame,” Tran said. “A glucose monitoring system that can autocorrect is a necessary requirement to improve the quality of patient care.”

Future studies will evaluate the performance of the autocorrection features of newer glucose meters. and assess whether autocorrection provides the most accurate glucose monitoring for all patient populations.

Tina L. Palmieri, professor of surgery and director of the Firefighters Burn Institute Regional Burn Center at UC Davis, is enthusiastic about the findings.

“Hyperglycemia is an important issue for burn patients because it decreases the body's ability to respond to infection and can cause other metabolic perturbations,” Palmieri said. “Our published research has shown that administering insulin and controlling hyperglycemia decreases infection rates and improves outcomes in patients with severe burn injuries. However, controlling hyperglycemia can be problematic, as there are issues with monitor accuracy, calculation of the proper insulin dose and practitioner administration of insulin. This study addresses all three of these areas and may very well improve morbidity and mortality in burn patients.”

Anthony G. Passerini, a UC Davis associate professor of biomedical engineering, launched the study with Tran. Passerini is the
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