The feasibility and impact of implementing NICE guidance on diabetes control during delivery

Umesh Dashora, Shemitha Rafique, Giji Tharayil, Sarah Jones, Erwin Castro, Periasamy Sathiskumar


Aims: The aim of this study was to report on the practicality, feasibility and impact of implementing the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines for the control of diabetes in women during labour and birth.

Methods: We analysed case records of pregnant women with diabetes who delivered in the period between July 2014 and June 2015. The data were collected in relation to the availability of a plan in the notes, capillary blood glucose (CBG) monitoring, use of variable rate intravenous insulin infusion (VRIII), maintenance of CBG targets within 4–7 mmol/L, maternal hypoglycaemia during labour and neonatal hypoglycaemia.

Results: Fifty-one women with diabetes delivered during this period. Only 45% of women were monitored by complete hourly CBGs until delivery. 27.4% of women had CBG ≥7 mmol/L but only 17.6% were started on VRIII. The VRIII group had a 22.2% incidence of minor maternal hypoglycaemia. Neonatal hypoglycaemia occurred in 47% of the babies.

Conclusion: A CBG target of 4–7 mmol/L during labour and initiation of VRIII when levels are above this target in pregnant women with diabetes is difficult to achieve and is associated with some maternal hypoglycaemia. Repeat CBG measurements within half an hour and strict adherence to clear guidelines and protocols supported by more education and adequate staffing may improve results.


feasibility, impact, NICE, diabetes, delivery

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