New blood sugar tests help save lives

AMBULANCE crews in Suffolk are carrying the latest monitoring equipment to measure blood sugar levels and help save lives as quickly as possible.Before the introduction of Ultra on-touch glucose monitoring, paramedics had to measure blood sugar by using a test strip and colour chart.

AMBULANCE crews in Suffolk are carrying the latest monitoring equipment to measure blood sugar levels and help save lives as quickly as possible.

Before the introduction of Ultra on-touch glucose monitoring, paramedics had to measure blood sugar by using a test strip and colour chart.

The process was complicated and often lengthy.

But new technology means the vital test can now take as little as five seconds, leading to much quicker patient treatment.

Paul Henry, assistant director of operations at East Anglian Ambulance Service said: "This will enable our crews to quickly and simply identify unsafe variances in a patient's blood sugar and treat the patient accordingly.

"A very low blood sugar level can risk a patient's health and life - early recognition will prompt the right intervention of glucose administration.

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"The benefit of the glucose monitor is that the process is quicker, simpler and less open to operator error."

The monitor takes its reading from a pin prick blood sample, which gives a numeric value to the operator.

It will be tested weekly and annually by staff and an external specialist to ensure continued accuracy.

The new system is no more expensive that the testing strip method because the monitors are provided free of charge.

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