Policy for Treating Hypoglycemia and Hyperglycemia

Identify the policy & procedure for treating hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia for patients on your unit – (labor & delivery).

Where did you find this information?

How do you share this information with diabetic patients during their hospitalization and as an education point before discharge?

Utilize at least one scholarly article and your textbook in an APA 7th ed. formatted reference to add depth and support to your post.

3-4 paragraphs (no title page)

policy for treating hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia

In the labor and delivery unit, the treatment policies for hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia are crucial due to the potential complications for both the mother and the newborn. For hypoglycemia, the standard procedure involves immediate blood glucose testing if the patient shows symptoms such as sweating, trembling, or confusion. If the blood glucose level is below 70 mg/dL, the initial treatment includes administering 15-20 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates (e.g., glucose tablets or juice). If the patient is unable to swallow, intravenous glucose or glucagon may be administered. Blood glucose levels are rechecked after 15 minutes, and if still low, the treatment is repeated until normal levels are achieved. Continuous monitoring and documentation are essential, along with identifying the underlying cause to prevent recurrence (American Diabetes Association [ADA], 2022).

For hyperglycemia, defined as blood glucose levels above 180 mg/dL, the protocol includes immediate blood glucose testing and assessment for symptoms such as frequent urination, increased thirst, and fatigue. Treatment typically involves administering insulin according to the sliding scale or the patient’s individualized insulin regimen. Hydration is also emphasized to prevent dehydration. Blood glucose levels are closely monitored, and the treatment is adjusted based on the readings. In severe cases, where diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is suspected, more intensive interventions, including electrolyte management and continuous insulin infusion, may be necessary (ADA, 2022).

The information on these procedures was obtained from the unit’s clinical guidelines, which are based on the latest recommendations from the American Diabetes Association and the facility’s standard operating procedures. Additionally, it is corroborated by evidence-based practice guidelines and scholarly articles, such as those found in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

To share this information with diabetic patients during their hospitalization, nurses provide continuous education during routine care and specific teaching sessions. This includes explaining the signs and symptoms of hypo- and hyperglycemia, the importance of blood glucose monitoring, and the appropriate steps to take when experiencing these conditions. Before discharge, a comprehensive education session is conducted, often with the aid of educational materials like brochures and visual aids. Patients are taught how to use their glucose monitors, understand their insulin regimen, and recognize when to seek medical help. This education is reinforced by providing written instructions and contact information for follow-up support.


American Diabetes Association. (2022). Standards of medical care in diabetes—2022 abridged for primary care providers. Clinical Diabetes, 40(1), 10-38. https://doi.org/10.2337/cd22-as01

Muniyappa, R., & Lee, S. (2021). Hypoglycemia in diabetes: Pathophysiology, mechanisms, and management. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 106(3), 835-846. https://doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgaa938

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