Diabetes test rolled out of Blacktown and Mt Druitt Hospitals
BLACKTOWN and Mt Druitt hospitals will be the first in Australia to roll out a test that diagnoses if a patient is diabetic.
The routine tests are carried out for patients who present to the emergency department.
They follow a six-week trial at Blacktown Hospital that resulted in a 32 percent jump in the number of people known to have the disease.
The number of people with pre-diabetes rose by 27 per cent.
Specialist Dr Glen Maberly said unlike regular blood tests, which detect blood-sugar levels at the time, the screening shows sugar levels over a couple of months to give a more accurate indication of whether a patient has Type 2 diabetes or is at risk of developing the disease. Patients who test positive for diabetes are sent a letter and their GP is informed.
Nola Roche, 40, was unaware she had type 2 diabetes, despite a family history of the disease, until she undertook the test.
“I think the routine testing is a good idea,” she said. “I would never have found out I had Type 2 diabetes otherwise. “
Western Sydney Local Health District chief executive Danny O’Connor said the process would help relieve the strain on the health system.
“In western Sydney 15 per cent of people are likely to have diabetes and have not been diagnosed, while more than half the region’s population is overweight and at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes,” he said.
Dr Maberly said work was being carried out to “take the heat out” of the Type 2 diabetes hot spot that is western Sydney.
The Western Sydney Local Health District is tackling the disease by liaising with schools and councils to create better urban environments conducive to more activity. It is also working to improve the management of diabetes, so once a diagnosis is handed down, it does not reach crisis point such as amputations and kidney failure. One of these measures includes monitoring blood glucose throughout the day and keeping readings on target.
NOVEL DIABETES TEST ROLLED OUT – Original article published 13 Jul 2016 Blacktown Advocate, Sydney.