The course of a diabetic patient who self-administered 2500 U of NPH insulin subcutaneously was examined in detail. Despite resumption of oral intake on day 3, she required iv glucose for 6 days, during which time serum free insulin levels remained elevated. Glucose requirements closely matched those calculated from published euglycemic clamp data on maximal glucose disposal rates during insulin infusion. We postulate that her prolonged course was due to delayed absorption of the subcutaneous insulin. This is the first case of massive insulin overdose studied in such detail, and the results may facilitate management of future cases.
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