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When U is not Units!

May 27, 2012

One of my consults had written out his home meds which included, “U100 Novolin R insulin before meals and bedtime.” The nurse entered this into the electronic chart for home meds as…

The nurse entered this into the electronic chart for home meds as: 100 units of Novolin R ac/hs. 

I questioned the patient about this. He explained that he had just copied what was on the bottle, hence the U100. He explained to me that he used the regular insulin according to a sliding scale before meals and at bedtime. When asked his usual dosage he explained he never needed over 15 units. I explained to the patient the meaning of U100. After interviewing a new graduate group of nurses I found they all interpreted the home med as 100 units of regular insulin also! They did not know the meaning of U100. I now have to include this in my orientation of new hires at our hospital.

Lesson Learned:

Diabetes education in nursing schools has got to improve.

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