Every month in the East Midlands, ambulances are called to up to 500 people experiencing a hypoglycaemic event. Four out of every 10 of those people are then taken to hospital for treatment. Unfortunately this is a rising trend.
Hypoglycaemia is an abnormally low level of sugar (glucose) in the blood. When the glucose level is too low, the body does not have enough energy to carry out its activities - this is described as a 'hypo'. Hypoglycaemia is most commonly associated with diabetes, and mainly occurs if someone with diabetes takes too much insulin, misses a meal, or exercises too hard.
The East Midlands Cardiovascular Network is working with partner organisations (including the regional hypo task and finish group and NHS Diabetes) to raise awareness of how to prevent and treat cases of hypo. The delivery of best practice, evidence-based care has the potential to significantly improve patient outcomes and save the NHS millions of pounds. It is estimated that hypoglycaemia costs the NHS (hospitalisation and ambulances) nationally nearly £17 million a year.
A short video aimed at healthcare practitioners – available at www.emcvn.nhs.uk/diabetes *- has been produced to raise awareness of the condition and the free online training that is now available. The video promotes a new web-based training module hosted by NHS Diabetes, which can be accessed via www.emcvn.nhs.uk/hypo
The module helps clinicians understand the signs, symptoms and risk factors for hypoglycaemia as well as prevention and treatment. It is a flexible e-learning package that can be stopped and started as required and generally takes about 30 minutes to complete. Successful completion produces a certificate which can be useful for evidence of continuing professional development.
* The video can also be viewed Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/53673783