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A new integrated care pathway for ambulance attended severe hypoglycaemia in the East of England: The Eastern Academic Health Science Network (EAHSN) model

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Abstract

Aims: We developed a new clinical integrated pathway linking a regional Ambulance Trust with a severe hypoglycaemia (SH) prevention team. We present clinical data from the first 2,000 emergency calls taken through this new clinical pathway in the East of England.

Methods: SH patients attended by Ambulance crew receive written information on SH avoidance, and are contacted for further education through a new regional SH prevention team. All patients are contacted unless they actively decline.

Results: Median age (IQR) was 67 (50 - 80) years, 23.6% of calls were for patients over 80 years old, and patients more than 90 years old were more common than 20 - 25 year olds in this population. Most calls were for patients (84.9%) who were insulin treated, even those over 80 years (75%). One - third of patients attended after a call were unconscious on attendance. 5.6% of patients in this call population had 3 or more ambulance call outs, and they generated 17.6% of all calls. In total, 728 episodes (36.4%) were repeat calls. Insulin related events were clinically more severe than oral hypoglycaemic related events. Patients conveyed to hospitals (13.8%) were significantly older, with poorer recovery in biochemical hypoglycaemia after ambulance crew attendance. Only 19 (1%) opted out of further contact. Patients were contacted by the SH prevention team after a median 3 (0 - 6) days. The most common patient self - reported cause for their SH episode was related to percieved errors in insulin management (31.4%).

Conclusions: This new clinical service is simple, acceptable to patients, and a translatable model for prevention of recurrent SH in this largely elderly insulin treated SH population.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-59
Number of pages10
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Volume133
Early online date1 Sep 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017
Peer-reviewedYes

Keywords

    Research areas

  • Severe Hypoglycaemia, Ambulance, Diabetes, Insulin, Emergency

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