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Publication Type: Drug Safety Update
Single or Multiple Incident: Multiple
Date: 7/1/2012 12:00:00 AM
Country: United Kingdom

This safety update discusses the potential for false blood glucose readings when dextrose is used to flush arterial lines instead of saline. This can result in incorrect insulin administration and potentially fatal hypoglycemia. Even a fraction of a millilitre of glucose-containing solution is likely to raise the measured plasma glucose to extremely high levels. The alert contains recommendations to prevent such adverse events.

Additional Details

Medication/Gas/Fluid:
insulin, dextrose IV, glucose IV, normal saline (0.9% sodium chloride)
Medication/IV List:
insulin, subcutaneous and IV


Glucose solutions: false blood glucose readings when used to flush arterial lines