Why is blood glucose monitoring important?

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The measurement of vital signs is an important part of clinical work up. Vital signs, including temperature, pulse rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate, represent objective measurements of the essential physiological functions of a human being. For over 100 years, physicians and nurses have measured these vital signs, recognized changes in the clinical status, and reached important management decisions.

Normally, measurement of blood glucose is a factor for concern mostly when treating individuals with diabetes. Doctors will tell their patients to check their blood glucose in the morning when they wake up. Their blood glucose should be somewhere between 80 mg/dL and 130 mg/dL. Within an hour or two after they start a meal, their target should be less than 180 mg/dL.

Meanwhile, blood glucose variability and hypoglycemia in critically ill individuals without diabetes causes excess in-hospital complications and mortality. Blood glucose level, even when in high normal range, or in slightly high range, is an important determinant of morbidity and mortality, especially in hospitalized patients.

Therefore, many professionals propose that blood glucose be included as the “fifth vital sign” for any hospitalized patient. It is significant to measure blood glucose in all patients admitted to the hospital regardless of presence of diabetes. Furthermore, even slight elevation of blood glucose may increase mortality in patients with COVID-19.

Blood glucose is a requisite for the body to maintain normal metabolic processes. Any deviation from the normal range of blood glucose may have adverse consequences and contributes to morbidity and mortality. Thus, blood glucose is one of the important parameters for the prognosis in any disease.

Researches have indicated that blood glucose, in the upper normal, mildly hyperglycemic, or hypoglycemic ranges adversely influences hospital outcomes in those not known to have diabetes previously. This may be particularly important in developing countries where considerable number of individuals is at risk for developing hyperglycemia. Further, variability of blood glucose must be taken in consideration of treatment protocol in an effort to decrease mortality in individuals without diabetes.

The blood glucose measurement is now convenient with the widespread availability of low cost glucose meters and advanced technologies for continuous glucose monitoring. For example, Mintti-Vision, a multi-funtional device, performs measurements through Bluetooth and transfer results to the doctor or hospital instantly. Tension and pulse measurement from the arm and also important vital parameters such as fever, saturation, blood glucose, and ECG can be measured with the device and the results are directly sent to patients’ and doctors’ mobile phones. The course of the vital parameters can be diagrammatically followed-up by health professionals which is crucial. From medication dosages to treatment optimization, everything proceeds according to the follow-up of these parameters. Health professionals can simultaneously see data of patients and they are notified about the limit values.

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