Badly written prescription could put people with diabetes at risk

Mon, 01 Mar 2010
According to a report from a charity, badly written prescriptions could be putting diabetics at risk. The report showed that one in 20 medication instructions were found to contain an error, many were also undated, unsigned or illegible due to bad handwriting.

Furthermore, the Diabetes UK study showed that a third of charts had the wrong timings for insulin injections. When taken in light of the scale of the diabetes population, this type of healthcare professional error could be putting thousands of patients at risk. Too much insulin can cause hypos, which in serious cases can cause a loss of consciousness. Meanwhile, too little can lead to a coma or even death.

Speaking for the charity, Simon O'Neill reportedly commented: " Diabetes UK is extremely concerned at this audit's startling revelations. Correct insulin doses and the timely co-ordination of medication and meals are basic, but essential factors for good diabetes management and improved health. At least 10 per cent of people in hospital have diabetes . Although not all people with diabetes treat their condition with insulin, the potential health risks to tens of thousands of people can be avoided with simple measures. Hospitals should ensure that specialist diabetes teams are available to assure competences of non-diabetes staff and provide appropriate support to ensure that people with diabetes in hospital are able to access the high quality care they should expect."
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