Who should be screening patients for Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is connected to so many other diseases, whether it be the disease itself which causes bone loss or the treatment for the disease which causes bone loss,
this is why it should not be just treated by one area of medicine.
Bone loss also occurs due to lifestyle choices examples being: smoking, excess alcohol, eating disorders, over exercising, inactivity, excess stress and low levels of vitamin D.
There are approximately 200 causes of bone loss and it is essential that the cause/s are found and addressed, in order that the person can improve their bone strength.
Most people see their GP when they have a health issue, therefore GP’s could help to significantly decrease the amount of people undiagnosed. This could be done by passing on the Osteoporosis Society Charity’s details to patients for them to contact us directly. The Charity could then go through the risk factors for bone loss with these patients.
By screening patients for risk factors for bone loss, a significant amount of money could be saved annually, of our Tax money! Currently only 15% of people are diagnosed, leaving 280,000 at risk of losing their independence. €500+ million was spent in 2013 on treating fractures (broken bones). It is common sense to say that preventing fractures is much cheaper than treating them, as well as the fact that research shows this. On the human stand point, preventing patients from pain, disability, disfigurement, isolation, depression, loss of independence and premature death is even more important.
Do you have three hours a year to help increase awareness?
Our Health system is stretched to breaking point and this is one of the reasons why Physicians and nurse’s etc, do not have additional time to spend with their patients.
Most Doctors are extremely busy, GP’s especially, as they are dealing with multiple types of issues on a daily basis. If you could just pass on our risk factor list to your Doctor (which we could send out to you) or other health professionals you deal with, it could be handed out to patient’s or left in their reception. By dropping off 20 copies four times a year, thousands of people a year will be able to access vital information that they would not have had the opportunity to do so. It would also help to decrease the burden of bed blocking in the hospitals, as those with broken bones due to untreated Osteoporosis, heal much slower and therefore are unable to be discharged.
By you assisting us in this way, you will be helping to increase awareness about the importance of bone health. The fact that you are receiving our newsletter, you, a family member or a friend is dealing with bone loss. Please do not assume others will do it, if the thousands who received our newsletter donated three hours a year to the Charity, all of you would be helping to save people lives. Undiagnosed Osteoporosis can severely affect a person’s life.
For those receiving our newsletter we would really appreciate if you could become a member which costs €25 a year. The Charity has two staff to cover the ROI, Michele covers four full time positions and Monica covers two full time positions. We do not have a PR budget as currently we only receive €4,252 a year government funding.
What Health professionals treat patients with bone loss?
Orthopaedic Surgeons – Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty
What Health professionals treat patients who would be at risk of bone loss?
A and E Physicians
Nurses in general
Sports Medicine Physicians
Occupational Health Physicians
If you are being treated by any of the above disciplines, please consider contacting us for our risk factor questionnaire