Purpose: Criteria (T&R) have been proposed to identify hypoglycemic patients who may be treated in the field and released without transport to the hospital. We prospectively evaluated the validity of these criteria.
Methods: Patients presenting with hypoglycemia (blood glucose [BG] <80 mg/dL) to paramedics of 2 EMS systems were prospectively enrolled and the presence of T&R criteria determined. T&R criteria did not influence transport. Hospital records were reviewed to determine interventions and outcomes.
Results: A total of 151 patients were enrolled (58% male, age 56 years (range 12–94), BG 33 ±16 mg/dL) and 99 (66%) were transported to the hospital and used to test the T&R criteria. Fifty-six patients (57%) were discharged from the ED and 43 (43%) received additional medications, or were admitted. T&R criteria identified 28 (29%) patients as appropriate for treatment and release. Of these, 5/28 (18%) received additional dextrose 50% (D50) or admission; 3 received D50 (despite normal mental status and documented ED BG >100 mg/dL), and 2 were admitted (transient ischemic attack and 1 hospital day, hypoglycemia and gastroenteritis and 2 hospital days). Sensitivity, specificity, negative and positive predictive values for the T&R criteria were: 41%, 88%, 51%, and 82%, respectively, and 44%, 95%, 54%, and 93%, respectively, if the 3 cases receiving D50 despite BG>100 mg/dL are excluded.