Welcome to M.V Hospital for Diabetes, established by late Prof. M.Viswanathan, Doyen of Diabetology in India in 1954 as a general hospital. In 1971 it became a hospital exclusively for Diabetes care. It has, at present,100 beds for the treatment of diabetes and its complications.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Diabetes and driving

Driving a vehicle requires complex skills, coordination, alertness and satisfactory judgement.

Diabetes affects driving mainly because of its complications: hypoglycemia, ocular and peripheral neuropathy, reduced vision, and severe peripheral vascular disease. So it is viewed as a potential disability for driving.

In most countries regulatory authorities consider people with diabetes as high risk drivers. Many diabetic drivers with advancing diabetic complications voluntarily stop driving.

Diabetic drivers should be cautious:

Newly diagnosed patients, especially insulin- treated, should not drive until glycemic control and eyesight are stable. It is better to stay off the roads if diabetic drivers have recurrent daytime hypoglycemia, impaired awareness of hypoglycemia, reduced visual acuity in both eyes or severe sensorymotor peripheral neuropathy.

Advice for diabetic drivers

* Inform licensing authority and motor insurer of diabetes and the treatment you are receiving
* Do not drive if eyesight deteriorates suddenly
* Check blood sugar before driving even on short journeys and at intervals on longer journeys
* Take frequent rests with snacks or meals; avoid alcohol
* Carry diabetes ID card
* If hypoglycemia develops, stop driving, switch off the engine, leave the driver’s seat and then treat
* Do not continue driving for 60 minutes after blood glucose has returned to normal.
* Keep a supply of fast and longer acting carbohydrates in the vehicle for emergency use
* Attend BGAT - Blood Glucose Awareness Training program - that helps to increase awareness of fuctuations in blood glucose levels.
* Get eyes screened regularly as part of assessing medical fitness to drive because retinal ischemia may severely reduce visual field, night vision or the ability to see moving objects. People who have complications with vision should also be responsible enough to report poor eyesight to licensing authority.

Reference: Diabetes and driving. Dr. Ghanshyam Agarwal

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