UCLH backs better hypo awareness 

07/10/2015 00:00 
UCLH is supporting Hypo Awareness Week with a drop-in session for staff to find out more about managing hypoglycaemia in hospitals.

The drop-in session for all UCLH staff will be on ward T7 on Wednesday 14 October, 9.30am to 12.30pm.

The TALK Hypos campaign encourages people with diabetes and their health teams to discuss hypoglycaemia (hypos); one of the most common complications of diabetes. 

This year’s TALK Hypos campaign has an increased focus on night-time hypos. Findings of a survey released to coincide with Hypo Awareness Week found that night-time hypos are common with approximately two-thirds (66 per cent) of people having experienced a night-time hypo in the month prior to the survey. Despite this, one third (32 per cent) fail to report their night-time hypos to their doctor or nurse.  Encouragingly, the survey found that of those who did report, one third (34 per cent) felt more confident about managing their night-time hypos.

From an inpatient perspective, nationwide, over a fifth of (22 per cent) of people with diabetes in hospital will have experienced hypos within the past seven days.  One in 10 will have experienced a severe hypoglycaemic episode and one in 50 will have required injectable treatment due to the severity of the hypo.  There are a number of factors influencing this, among these, a change in the patient’s condition and dietary intake requiring an adjustment to their normal diabetes medication regimen, in particular their insulin and/or gliclazide.

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.

Corinne Riley, diabetes specialist nurse at UCLH, said: “Hypo Awareness Week provides the perfect opportunity for UCLH to be a part of a national campaign to help raise awareness of hypos and improve the wellbeing of people with diabetes. We are encouraging patients and healthcare professionals to TALK Hypos, whether they occur during the day or night, and ensure that they are being appropriately managed.”

TALK Hypos is an awareness campaign supported by Diabetes UK which provides an acronym to encourage people with diabetes to discuss hypos with their doctor or nurse:

•             THINK: Do you know what a hypo is? Do you suffer from hypos?
•             ASK: your doctor or nurse about hypos and discuss them as part of your consultation
•             LEARN: what can be done to better manage your hypos, including lifestyle and treatment options
•             KEEP: track of your hypos for discussion with your healthcare professional

Simon O’Neill, Director of Health Intelligence for Diabetes UK, said, “We encourage all people with diabetes to remember the simple TALK Hypos message and 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.”

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