New blood analysers at hospital

Doctors at the Cayman Islands
Hospital can now track trends in patients’ blood sugar levels with more
accuracy thanks to two new blood analysing machines.

With the new DCA Vantage Analysers,
donated by the Cayman Islands Diabetes Association, doctors can electronically
store and retrieve patient data, via touch screen or barcode; view the on-board
printed reports and trending graphs.

The equipment can trend a patient’s
blood glucose levels for the previous 90 days and provide clinicians with a
more accurate profile of the patient’s health status during this period for
better assessment and treatment.

The acquisition of the machines
also means speedier access to patient data. Previously patients had to wait
several days for test results which had to be sent to the lab. With the new
equipment results are instantly available.

President of the Cayman Islands
Diabetes Association, Sylvia Perry praised the efforts of the Cayman Islands Motor
Cycle Riders Association and Taron Jackman of Deloitte, who donated money to
the Diabetes Association to buy the equipment.

“I encourage every diabetic to get
tested regularly to ensure appropriate treatment and management of their
condition. It is now simple, easy and convenient,” said Mrs. Perry.

“The CIDA is also excited to
promote testing as a means of early detection in those at risk of developing
diabetes, and the machines are expected to play a prevalent part of our diabetes
awareness and education campaign for 2010. This promotion will also extend
through the efforts of our [CIDA] Sister Islands’ branch operating in Cayman
Brac,” she added.

The Health Service Authority’s
Public Health Department’s also offers a quarterly diabetic public education
course. The Diabetes education programme, “Take Control: Manage Your
Diabetes”, is conducted by a diabetes team of a doctor, a nurse educator
and a nutritionist.

The programme emphasises the
concept that modest lifestyle changes, including healthier diets and physical
activity, help people prevent the onset of complications of type 2 diabetes,
the most common form of the disease.

Programme coordinator, Dr. Anna
Matthews said the aim of the one-week programme, which is open to everyone, is
to create awareness about diabetes and to empower diabetics and their
caregivers to manage their condition and prevent complications.

She said that, with the increasing
prevalence and risk for diabetes among Cayman’s population, it is important
that everyone who is at risk of diabetes gets tested, and understand that the
disease can be controlled.

Risk factors for Type 2 diabetes
and pre-diabetes include overweight, inactivity, aged 35 or older, high blood
pressure, low HDL cholesterol and high triglycerides, a family history of
diabetes, a history of gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby weighing
more than 9 pounds and some ethnic groups.

“The most important thing you need
to know about diabetes is that it is a disease that can be managed and
controlled. The day-to-day treatment decisions are in your hands,” Dr. Matthews

“You should take the responsibility
of getting tested if you are at risk. Being diagnosed with diabetes is serious
but manageable. Most people with diabetes live long, healthy, and productive
lives,” she said.