UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Toxicology

Title: Dextrose - How Much Am I Giving?

Keywords: glucose, dextrose, hypoglycemia (PubMed Search)

Posted: 4/28/2011 by Fermin Barrueto, MD (Updated: 12/9/2019)
Click here to contact Fermin Barrueto, MD

Treating a patient with clinical hypoglycemia (neuroglycopenia if you want to sound cool) is with "1 amp of D50". Then some are starting D5 drips and D10 drips. Here is the actual breakdown of what you are giving:

1 amp of D50 = 50% dextrose = 50g/100mL = 25g x 4Kcal/g carbs = 100 calories bolus

1 L D5W at 100mL/hr = 5% Dextrose = 5g/100mL x 1L = 50g x (4Kcal/g) = 200 cal infusion of 20 cal/hr!

1 L D10W at 100mL/hr = 10%D= 10g/100mLx1L= 100g x (4Kcal/g)= 400 cal at infusion of 40 cal/hr!

Snickers Bar = 271 calories in one serving - most people will eat in 5 minutes =  54.2cal/min

Take home message is feed your patient once they are awake and alert. Much more effective.