NASAL GLUCAGON DELIVERY IS MORE SUCCESSFUL THAN INJECTABLE DELIVERY: A SIMULATED SEVERE HYPOGLYCEMIA RESCUE

Endocr Pract. 2020 Apr;26(4):407-415. doi: 10.4158/EP-2019-0502.

Abstract

Objective: A severe hypoglycemia (SH) episode is an acute, high-stress moment for the caregivers of persons with diabetes (PWD). We compared the success rates of nasal glucagon (NG) and injectable glucagon (IG) administration for PWD-trained and untrained users in treating simulated SH episodes. Methods: Thirty-two PWD-trained users and 33 untrained users administered NG and IG to high-fidelity manikins simulating treatment of an SH emergency. Simulation rooms resembled common locations with typical diabetic supplies and stressor elements mimicking real-life SH environments. Success rate and time to administer glucagon were measured. Results: Of all the PWD-trained and untrained users, 58/64 (90.6%) could successfully deliver NG, while 5/63 (7.9%) could successfully deliver IG. For NG simulations, 28/31 (90.3%) PWD-trained users and 30/33 (90.9%) untrained users could successfully administer the dose (mean time 47.3 seconds and 44.5 seconds, respectively). For IG simulations, 5/32 (15.6%) PWD-trained users successfully injected IG (mean time 81.8 seconds), whereas none (0/31 [0%]) of the untrained users were successful. Reasons for unsuccessful administration of NG included oral administration and incomplete pushing of the device plunger. For IG, inability to perform reconstitution steps, partial dose delivery, and injection at an inappropriate site were the causes for failure. Conclusion: With or without training, the success rate for administering NG was 90.6%, whereas it was only 7.9% for IG. NG was easily and quickly administered even by untrained users, whereas training was necessary for successful administration of IG. NG may expand the community of caregivers who can help PWD during an SH episode. Abbreviations: IG = injectable glucagon; NG = nasal glucagon; PWD = person with diabetes; SH = severe hypoglycemia; T1D = type 1 diabetes; T2D = type 2 diabetes.

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2
  • Glucagon / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / drug therapy*
  • Injections

Substances

  • Glucagon