Hypo awareness stand at KGH

editorial image

Kettering General Hospital is taking part in a national drive to raise awareness of a short-term complication of diabetes in a bid to improve staff knowledge and patient care.

The hospital held an awareness stand in its main reception as part of national Hypo Awareness Week, which runs from Monday, October 2, to Sunday, October 8.

The stand included information leaflets of hypoglycaemia, how to recognise when a person is having an episode and advice on the correct treatment to administer.

There was also a Guessing Game Quiz on Hypo symptoms, causes and treatments.

Hypoglycaemia, also known as a hypo, happens when the blood glucose levels of people with diabetes drop too low and they can feel shaky, unwell and can even slip into a coma.

Diabetic Nurse at KGH Kelly Brogan said: “Awareness of Hypoglycaemia is important for people with diabetes because there are many misconceptions about treatment.

“The classic one is giving a Mars bar – when a person starts to have hypo symptoms – such as feeling shaky, sweaty or dizzy.

“We don’t recommend this as the fat slows down the release of sugar needed to raise the blood glucose.

“Instead we suggest trying 150ml of non-diet fizzy drink or 200 ml of fruit juice, four large jelly babies, or four or five dextrose tablets, so the impact is quicker on the blood sugar level.”

About one in six hospital beds are occupied by a person with diabetes (17 per cent), according to the 2016 results from the National Diabetes Inpatient Audit1.

Hypo Awareness Week has been taking place annually since 2012 and during this period the prevalence of all hypoglycaemic episodes in hospital has decreased by six per cent, according to the 2016 National Diabetes Inpatient Audit report (NaDIA)2.

Latest results from the bedside survey indicate that hypoglycaemic episodes in hospitals, both mild and severe, have decreased from 26 per cent in 2011 to 20 per cent in 20163.

Mild hypoglycaemia has fallen from 23 per cent in 2011 to 18 per cent in 20164, while severe hypoglycaemia has dropped from 11 per cent in 2011 to eight per cent in 20165.

The annual campaign aims to raise awareness of hypoglycaemia in the UK by educating healthcare professionals about the short-term complications of diabetes.

The trust will be staging training events to raise awareness of the condition. Resources, including leaflets, guidelines and educational slides, will be used to help spread the word.

Last year, a total of 136 sites, mainly hospitals, across the country took part in Hypo Awareness Week.

This programme is organised by Orange Juice communications and has been made possible with the support of Sanofi, with the global life sciences company funding the campaign as part of its commitment to improve healthcare and help people living with diabetes enjoying a healthier life. Sanofi has no editorial control over its contents.