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Hypo awareness week

hypo awareness week

hypo awareness week

As part of Hypo Awareness Week, the diabetes team at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust (CDDFT) has been visiting wards and departments raising awareness amongst nursing staff of the effective treatments for hypos, as new research shows that some people living with diabetes are not managing hypos well, particularly those occurring at night and this can be a serious complication of diabetes.

Hypos occur when glucose in the blood falls to a low level, and symptoms can include a pounding heart, trembling, hunger, difficulty concentrating and blurred vision. Symptoms of night-time hypos include waking up with a morning headache, night sweats and extreme tiredness. Night-time hypos can be of particular concern as they can be unpredictable and hard to detect.

Sharon Pickering, senior diabetes specialist nurse, said, "Staff who regularly come into contact with diabetic patients know how to support them, but by the end of Hypo Awareness Week, over 200 other members of staff have benefited from the training we are offering them.

"Patients and staff need to be aware that a hypo should be managed with sugar-heavy sweets or drinks given quickly to reverse symptoms.  This should be followed by complex carbohydrates such as toast or a biscuit and milk, to stabilise the patient.

"The diabetes team runs regular clinics and a helpline for the many people affected by diabetes.  In addition, on a daily basis, we identify all diabetic patients admitted to our hospitals during the previous 24 hours, regardless of their presenting clinical problem, visiting them during their stay in hospital.  We review their diabetes medications and aim to resolve any issues they may have managing their condition, prior to their discharge home."

Dr Tarigopula, consultant diabetologist, said, "Many inpatient hypoglycaemic episodes (hypos) are preventable and result in health implications.  All staff members, including doctors, who deal with diabetic patients, should be aware of the reasons hypoglycaemia occurs and how to correctly manage it.''

Results from a survey undertaken to coincide with Hypo Awareness Week, reveal that night-time hypos are common, with approximately two-thirds (66%) of people having experienced a night-time hypo in the month prior to the survey.

Simon O'Neill, Director of Health Intelligence for Diabetes UK, said, "We encourage all people with diabetes to take steps to better manage their day and night-time hypos. These steps can include simple changes to lifestyle, diet and treatment so it is very important to discuss hypos as part of the regular consultation with your doctor or nurse."

'In recent times, I have utilised admissions to Richardson for respite direct from my fracture clinic, even at weekends. I have never worked anywhere with this efficiency before - it is reassuring and invaluable for the patient.'

Patient, Lowson / Starling Wards, Richardson Hospital