Senior citizens and individuals with chronic illnesses in Abu Dhabi can now take advantage of phlebotomy (blood drawing) services from the comfort of their own home.
Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC) and Amana Healthcare have partnered to expand home phlebotomy services for a larger population of patients with diabetes who are considered to be one of the most vulnerable groups of the community to infection and disease. It is estimated that more than 16 per cent of the UAE adult population has some form of diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Federation’s 2019 Diabetes Atlas.
Assisting vulnerable patients
Under the new partnership, which is in line with the Healthcare Programme for Senior Citizens and Individuals with Chronic Illnesses run by the Department of Health Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, up to 300 vulnerable patients can be visited daily.
Dr. Alya Saif Faris Ghanem Al Mazrouei, Acting Deputy Executive Director of ICLDC, explained: “It has been established that patients with poorly controlled blood-sugar have worse outcomes when exposed to any infectious illnesses. If they are elderly and have other comorbidities as well, it is vital that they avoid mingling with non-household members or taking public transport. However, they need to continue to have regular blood tests to manage their condition.
She added: “We are already offering the service in the cities of Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Dubai to those who are aged 60 or over or have one of the following conditions: poorly controlled blood sugar, pregnancy, kidney disease (eGFR < 40), or unstable thyroid conditions,” she says
Patients who do not fall into these categories can make use of ICLDC’s appointment-only express phlebotomy facility, available at its Zayed Sports City and Al Ain branches. Here, the tests are completed in a separate, demarcated area, followed by a teleconsultation once the results are available.
Dr. Al Mazrouei said that the results of the blood tests are available within 24 hours, after which the ICLDC physicians will follow up with a teleconsultation and, if a prescription is necessary, instruct ICLDC’s home medication delivery service accordingly.