Life, Death and Modern technology
Fiona Anthonypillai & Maricel Espina
Rapid and appropriate response to an Adrenal crisis is a matter of life and death. Could greater patient and professional awareness together with modern technology assist in preventing mortality? Patients often first present with adrenal crisis in A&E departments. Whether the cause is primary or secondary adrenal failure, the initial treatment remains the same. Our objective was threefold: Educate and give greater awareness of steroid therapy to hospital staff, educate and give patients greater ownership in managing their conditions and thirdly to identify how todays modern technology could be used to provide a convenient, user friendly and rapid mode of self management. Patient audits were undertaken to identify gaps in knowledge and whether modern technology, using a mobile phone Application (APP) could prove useful in providing easily accessible information on such topics as: signs of adrenal crisis, hydrocortisone injection administration and when dose adjustment should be carried out. Steroid management posters were sent to the wards and accident and emergency department as part of a steroid awareness program. Outcome of the audits show that there is a distinct lack of patients knowledge regarding steroid replacement and in particular their lack of awareness of what an adrenal crisis is and how this should be managed. In the younger age group there was favourable interest in using a mobile phone Application as an adjunct to safely manage their condition. If this appears plausible it could be modified for use by patients in numerous other medical conditions.
Declaration of interest: There is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of the research reported.
Funding: No specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sector.