July 13, 2010
The gestational diabetes project at the Women’s Medicine Center at CAMC Women and Children’s Hospital aims to ensure consistent care for women with gestational diabetes (GDM), and reduce the occurrence of newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetes in post-partum patients. “This is a critically important issue since gestational diabetes — diabetes diagnosed in pregnancy —affects 2 to 10 percent of pregnancies,” said Byron Calhoun, MD. “Women with gestational diabetes are at increased risk for problems with large babies, cesarean deliveries, preeclampsia and the development of diabetes later after pregnancy. Up to 40 percent of women who have gestational diabetes will go on to develop Type II diabetes later in life.” Patients at the Women’s Medicine Center are screened between 24 and 28 weeks, unless other factors, including obesity or a previous baby born at excessive birth weight, are present that determine an earlier screening. All women receive non-fasting blood sugar tests. Depending on the results, patients may undergo a glucose tolerance test. Women who are diagnosed with GDM are referred to diabetes education classes at the CAMC Outpatient Diabetes Education Program. In an effort to increase the number of women completing postpartum testing, this program offers an incentive — photos of the newborn baby or a gift card from a national department store. Goals of the program are to improve identification and documentation of GDM, strengthen patient education and improve post-partum follow-up testing and education. “This is critically important to our patients so they may obtain good care, excellent blood sugar control and prevent all the complications of Type II diabetes including cardiac disease, kidney disease, vascular disease and other long term complications from poor glucose control,” said Calhoun. “We are grateful for support from the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, collaboration with the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health, and the wonderful support from CAMC that allows us to work with our patients to improve both their and their babies’ outcomes.” So far, 17 women have been identified and are enrolled in the post-partum follow-up program.

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