Joining forces with healthcare professionals across the country, Yeovil Hospital is raising awareness of a short-term complication of diabetes in a national drive to improve staff knowledge and patient care.

The annual campaign runs this week (from Monday 30 September to Sunday 6 October 2019) and aims to raise awareness of hypoglycaemia. Hypoglycaemia, also known as a hypo, takes place when the blood glucose levels of people with diabetes drop too low. They can feel shaky, unwell and in extreme cases, can slip into a coma.

According to results from the 2017 National Diabetes Inpatient Audit1, around one in six hospitals beds are occupied by a person with diabetes. 

Yeovil Hospital Diabetes Specialist Nurse Rhia Creighton said: “Many inpatient hypoglycaemic episodes (hypos) are preventable and result in health implications. All staff members who deal with diabetic patients should be aware of the common causes of hypoglycaemia how to correctly manage it.”

Dr Gerry Rayman, the national clinical lead for the audit, said that since 2010 there has been a 30 percent reduction in severe hypoglycaemia in hospitals, with Hypo Awareness Week helping to raise awareness annually since 2012.

However, nationally almost one in five inpatients with diabetes experience hypoglycaemia during their hospital stay.

Specialist Nurse Rhia Creighton added: “Traditionally, most inpatient hypos happen at night. At Yeovil Hospital we have made a difference by ensuring patients are offered a bedtime snack so we can effectively reduce the risk for our patients. It is also key to make sure hypoglycaemic associated agents such as Insulin and Gliclazide are prescribed correctly and at the right time to prevent Hypos in the first place.”

As part of a week-long series of activities, the team will be going around to the wards to raise awareness of the condition, while other resources will be used to help spread the word around the hospital.

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