In(sulin)dependent

As this week is the first ever Insulin Safety Week I thought it was only appropriate to write a relevant post.

Various NHS trusts across the country are participating in the organised campaign with the intention to promote  awareness of the drug and reduce the number of insulin related incidents.

According to the 2017 National Diabetes Inpatient Audit, almost 18 percent of insulin dependent diabetics experienced at least one insulin error while in hospital. That may not seem like that high of a percentage but for those affected, the consequences could have been fatal.

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I have seen first hand the lack of knowledge that hospital staff have in relation to diabetes care. It’s not their fault, they have various patients to take care of and can’t specialise in everything, but it’s just not good enough. If you ever have to spend any time as a hospital inpatient, and aren’t cared for by a diabetes specialist nurse/consultant, you find yourself having to manage your own diabetes care. Yes that’s fine if you’re conscious and aware of what’s going on but, in situations when you’re not, you could be pretty screwed!

We all know the importance of correctly managing our condition however, from personal experience, I have found that people who aren’t living with or affected by diabetes simply have little or no clue. When these people are then put in charge of our care for a short period of time it puts us in potentially dangerous situations. Yes, being a type 1 diabetic means you are a mathematician and super hero all rolled into one, but grasping the basics isnt and shouldn’t be that difficult.

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The purpose of this weeks’s campaign is provide the necessary education to protect patients while under hospital care. I personally welcome this with open arms! It’s very much overdue and I am glad that the NHS have finally recognised that there is a problem.

I do however believe that this week can also be useful to us as individuals; it shouldn’t just be the health care professionals that are focusing their efforts on improvements. In general, education on type 1 diabetes is very limited and new people I meet often have no clue what the condition entails. Let’s use these last few days of the campaign to educate those around us. Let’s speak out about our diabetes and what’s involved in managing it. But, most importantly, we need to educate those we associate with about the consequences and effects of when things are done wrong.

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If we all work together to spread awareness we may, one day, reach a point where incidents and mistakes are the absolute exception. That is exactly where we should all want to be!

H 💙

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