Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Hypoglycaemia Survey/ Comment Or Tell Your Story

Diabetes Power On behalf Of The Patient Experience
Welcome to the latest blog for The Patient Experience to coincide with Diabetes Awareness Week. Here we look at a recent study which highlights the dangers of Hypoglycaemia for people with diabetes. It would be great if you could use the comments section to comment on the survey or to tell us your diabetes story.
Dramatic increase in emergency diabetes hospital admissions in last year
Sufferers could be risking their health because they don’t know how to manage their condition
Emergency hospital admissions for the life threatening diabetes condition hypoglycaemia have risen by 7% in the last recorded year,1 with an increase of 26% in the last five years according to NHS statistics.1
Hypoglycaemia (‘hypo’) occurs when the blood glucose level of a person with diabetes drops below the normal range,which can lead to unconsciousness if left untreated.3 And a new survey released today to coincide with Diabetes Awareness Week has raised questions over whether the rise in admissions for the condition is down to lack of understanding from sufferers of how to monitor and manage their condition correctly.
The NHS statistics revealed that there were over 12,000 emergency hospital admissions for patients with diabetes due to hypoglycaemia in the last recorded year.1 The same data shows that there were over 69,000 bed days due to a primary diagnosis of hypoglycaemia,at an estimated cost of more than £20.7 million to the NHS in one year alone.1
It is reported that currently in the UK,400 people every day are diagnosed with diabetes,6 which means there are now 2.6 million people with the condition. 6 This is forecast to increase to over 4 million by 20256 which would constitute six per cent of the total UK population,7 due to increasing levels of obesity.
The survey shows that well over eight in ten people with diabetes find it hard to manage their condition and have difficulties doing everything they need to take care of their health. They also say they could do with more help in keeping their diabetes under control.4
The survey also highlights the fear people with diabetes have of hypoglycaemia with almost a third saying it is a huge concern for them.4 Worryingly,40% of people with diabetes admit they don’t always recognise signs of a ‘hypo’,while ironically,30% of patients deliberately run their blood glucose levels higher than they should to avoid one.4 By doing this they put themselves at risk of short and long-term complications such as developing diabetic retinopathy,neuropathy and cardiovascular disease as a result of poor diabetes management.


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