Study confirms concerns about healthcare system disaster response needs for people with diabetes

A 2016 study of the Sandy disaster response finds that people with diabetes were at special risk: “Emergency visits for a primary diagnosis of diabetes had an increased frequency of certain co-morbidities, including hypertension, recent procedure, and chronic skin ulcers. Patients with a history of diabetes visited EDs in increased numbers after Hurricane Sandy for a primary diagnosis of myocardial infarction, prescription refills, drug dependence, dialysis, among other conditions.” And it concluded that “there is a need to support diabetic adults particularly in the week after a disaster by ensuring access to medications, aftercare for patients who had a recent procedure, and optimize their cardiovascular health to reduce the risk of heart attacks.”  This is consistent with the concerns raised by Patient & Family, the Center for Independence of the Disabled New York, the New York Statewide Senior Action Council and others after Superstorm Sandy.  More vigilance is needed to make sure New York does better in the next severe weather disaster.

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