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Lab update: Glucose testing for critical low changing

New glucose parameter provides information to you sooner

The Salem Health Laboratories critical low parameter for blood glucose in patients older than one month is currently set at <50 mg/dL. This is the value at which the lab will notify the provider with a direct phone call. This critical low glucose value changed on Feb. 27 to <60 mg/dL.

Summary of change: Critical low glucose value is changing from <50 mg/dL to <60 mg/dL for patients >1 month old.

Additional information:

  • This change will provide information sooner to the provider who will determine if an insulin dose adjustment is required.
  • Current ADA Standards of Care Guidelines 2019, have developed a modified classification utilizing three levels:
    • Level 1 — Glucose <70 mg/dL and >54 mg/dL
    • Level 2 — Glucose <54 mg/dL
    • Level 3 — A severe event characterized by altering mental and/or physical status requiring assistance.

    Level 2 hypoglycemia is the threshold at which neuroglycopenic symptoms begin to occur and immediate action is required to resolve hypoglycemic event.

  • Neonatal patients (under one month old) are not affected by this change. The critical low Glucose value for them will remain <40 mg/dL.

Questions? Contact Daryl Vogel, MD, PhD, laboratory medical director at 503-814-3356 or Amanda Jacobson, MLS (ASCP)CM, senior laboratory specialist, chemistry at 503-814-1632.

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