Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a potentially life-threatening condition affecting primarily people with type 1 diabetes. Moderateto- severe episodes usually have required intensive care unit (ICU) admission for intravenous (IV) insulin therapy because subcutaneous (SC) injections of standard insulin take 30 minutes to have an effect.
The results of a University of Tennessee study, using a genetically engineered form of insulin, were presented at the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association in June 2003. The findings showed that SC injections of rapid-acting human insulin analog insulin aspart were just as effective at rapidly treating DKA as IV insulin. Because ICU management was not required, this therapy resulted in a 38% lower average hospitalization cost per patient than IV insulin treatment.