Southend University Hospital supports hypo awareness week
01 October 2014
The diabetes team at Southend University Hospital are encouraging their patients to Talk Hypos by taking part in this year’s national hypo awareness week which runs from 29 September to 5 October.
A hypo (or hypoglycaemia) is a potentially dangerous
complication of diabetes and is triggered when the blood glucose
level of a person with diabetes drops too low.
Symptoms and their severity vary and can range from feeling
hungry or dizzy to trembling, blurred vision or a pounding heart.
Left untreated, symptoms can become serious and cause
Diabetes is common in our area; on average 16.2% of inpatients
have diabetes at any one time. Nationwide, over a fifth (22%) of
people with diabetes in hospital will have experienced a hypo
within the past seven days.
One in 10 will have experienced a severe hypoglycaemic episode
and one in 50 will have required injectable treatment due to the
severity of the hypo.
The TALK Hypos awareness campaign, supported by Novo
Nordisk and Diabetes UK, aims to encourage people with diabetes to
recognise symptoms and talk about hypos with their healthcare
The campaign uses a simple acronym to help people with diabetes
to manage hypos more effectively:
- THINK: Do you know what a hypo is? Do you
suffer from hypos?
- ASK: your doctor or nurse about hypos and
discuss them as part of your consultation.
- LEARN: what can be done to better manage your
hypos, including lifestyle and treatment options.
- KEEP: track of your hypos for discussion with
your healthcare professional
Diabetes staff have been visiting wards and departments around
the hospital to raise awareness of hypoglycaemia using a special
'hypo simulator', a piece of equipment that allows the viewer to
see and experience what a hypo feels like through the eyes of a
person with diabetes.
Diabetes specialist nurse, Michelle Purchese, said: "We're
delighted to be a part of this year's hypo awareness week, raising
awareness and helping to reduce instances of hypos occurring in
hospital which can impact on patients' recovery and their length of
"Prompt and effective treatment of hypoglycaemia is essential so
it's important that we educate as many people as possible on
recognising the signs and symptoms."
Members of the public are invited to visit the hospital's
diabetes centre between 10.30am and 2.30pm on Friday 3 October
where they can meet the diabetes team, learn more about hypos and,
crucially, how to recognise and treat them.