A number of changes in therapy of uncontrolled diabetes have occurred in recent years. These include low-dose insulin regimens, often routine phosphate repletion, more cautious bicarbonate replacement, infusion of larger fluid volumes, the use of hypotonic solutions in hyperosmolar states, and recently magnesium repletion. These modalities (with the exception of routine magnesium repletion) have been employed at North Central Bronx Hospital since its opening in 1976. Through this retrospective analysis of 275 cases of uncontrolled diabetes we have tried to answer the following questions: What is the outcome of all episodes of uncontrolled diabetes in a municipal hospital population with a uniform treatment protocol? What are the results of treatment with new modalities in various age groups? Are the causes of death different from those tabulated in previous reports? Our results indicate a good outcome in those under the age of 50 yr regardless of the diagnosis of hyperosmolar nonketotic coma (HNC) or diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Mortality from DKA was 2% in those under age 50 yr and 26% in the older age group. Surprising was the low mortality in the hyperosmolar group with 0% mortality under age 50 yr and 14% in patients over this age. The major categories of causes of death in the series included sepsis, adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), metabolic, cardiovascular, and shock. With the exception of ARDS, these categories were not different from other reported series. There were few thromboembolic events in this series. We conclude that the newer therapeutic approaches are effective in the treatment of uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, both ketoacidotic and hyperosmolar, and that they can be used safely and effectively in managing these metabolic derangements in diabetic patients of all ages.

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