Transient ischaemic attack (TIA) is a powerful warning sign of an impending, and potentially disabling, stroke. It is important to understand differences between stroke and TIA, how the FAST test can help you recognise the signs, and the use of the ABCD2 score to assess the level of stroke risk. Treating TIAs as emergencies is critically important in preventing a full stroke so urgent referral to your local TIA service is best practice.
In this new series, BJPCN interviews key people leading major initiatives in the prevention and treatment of CVD and diabetes. Alastair Bailey, who leads the Brain Attack Team (BAT) at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust explains how the team ensures that patients with stroke receive prompt thrombolytic treatment to improve outcomes.
The quality of many of our patients' lives would improve if they had the choice and ability to be sexually intimate. It is relatively common for men who suffer from cardiovascular disease or diabetes to suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED). They often feel too ashamed to initiate sex with their partner, or start a new relationship, because they are unable to gain or maintain an erection. They can become socially isolated and aviod physical contact. As healthcare professionals, we owe this group of patients an opportunity to talk about their sexual problems and to offer them support and treatments. But how do we open up a discussion about sex?
Putting Prevention First - the national strategy for assessing cardiovascular risk in everyone between the ages of 40 and 74 years - is here to stay, regardless of any changes in the NHS. This strategy is based on assessing a patient's individual risk of cardiovascular disease and, where this risk is significant, offering them measures to reduce this risk. In this article, we look at how to achieve a key step in this process: explaining the complex concept of absolute cardiovascular risk to patients so they understand what's at stake when deciding whether or not to take their statin or antihypertensive.
The onset of type 1 diabetes is usually rapid, taking patients and their relatives and friends, and even healthcare professionals by surprise. Diagnosis can involve some degree of diabetic ketoacidosis (commonly referred to as DKA). It is estimated that approximately 30% of newly diagnosed children seen by a healthcare professional have problems related to their diabetes before diagnosis, which suggests that practitioners are missing opportunities to diagnose type 1 diabetes at an earlier stage and possibly avoiding DKA. In this article, we explore how primary care staff can achieve earlier diagnosis of type 1 diabetes.
Getting people to act on advice is a continuing challenge for health professionals, particularly in the self-management of chronic conditions. In this article, we explore why men are less likely than women to fully engage with their own health needs and what health professionals can do to help men get better at this. Using the behavioural theory of communication - the Theory of Primitive Concerns – we will look at how different responses to risk – with women typically being risk-averse and men being risk-seeking – mean they respond differently to two alternative styles of clinical instruction based on using 'power language' and 'safety language'. The theory is that we can help men to look after their own health by using language that matches their attitude to risk and presents self-care in a more powerful way.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a multifaceted disease that has several associated complications. Anaemia is one of the most common complications that can develop early in the course of the disease process. It is associated with increased mortality, increased hospitalisation rates, and reduced quality of life. Lower levels of kidney function are associated with lower haemoglobin (Hb) levels and a higher prevalence and severity of anaemia.