Managing diabetes testing in your hospital

 In Conditions, Mental Health, Simplifying Product Supply

3.7 million people in the UK have been diagnosed with diabetes, with this number expected to rise significantly in the coming years. It is important to diagnose diabetes as early as possible to limit the adverse effect it can have on the body. Uncontrolled diabetes leads to higher morbidity and mortality rates.

If blood glucose is not managed properly and high glucose levels are allowed to persist, this can cause damage to the walls of the blood vessels. This can increase the chances of developing diabetes complications such as nephropathy, neuropathy and cardiovascular diseases.

Diabetes and mental health

Diabetes is up to five times more common in those with severe mental illnesses than in the general population. This is due to the fact that mental health sufferers have generally lower access to health services, and higher tendency to self-neglect and use psychotropic medication, as well as possible genetic factors. Also, mental health sufferers are generally more likely to be unemployed or have low incomes and do not exercise as much. These are all contributory factors in getting diabetes.

Therefore, it is extremely important to test patients with a mental illness for diabetes on admission and periodically during their stay, as prescribed medication can affect blood sugar levels.

There are many drugs that can cause patients to put on weight and increase the likelihood of developing diabetes, but the most common in this respect are the newer anticonvulsants: clozapine, olanzapine and quetiapine. Since many patients will be exposed to polypharmacy with these agents, careful monitoring and review is recommended.

Seeing as mental health patients are already at a higher risk of diabetes, screening those newly diagnosed with a mental illness is a good opportunity to catch any pre-existing conditions. For those started on one of the new antipsychotics, a six monthly checkup is recommended. All patients should also have an annual check of their fasting blood glucose done as part of their wider physical health.

Are all of the patients in your hospital screened for diabetes?

  • Type 2 diabetes can remain undetected for ten years or more, so it is important to screen all patients.
  • Diabetic patients require ongoing monitoring and treatment to maintain their health.
  • Incorrect administration of insulin and antidiabetic medication can have harmful and serious consequences.

How can we help?

We offer a wide range of diabetes products which should facilitate testing and treatment. This includes blood glucose meters, test strips, control solution, diabetes needlesglucose, ketone test strips, lancets and insulin needles.

You can browse our diabetes products at our online ordering website or call our Customer Services Team on 0345 222 3550 to discuss the range of products available.

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