Over fifties treated for broken bones at Altnagelvin are to be screened for osteoporosis as part of a new service being rolled out by the Western Trust.
The new Fracture Liaison Service works by identifying people over 50 who have been treated for a fracture at the hospital.
Those affected will be invited for a Bone Mineral Density scan, to identify whether osteoporosis is present.
If the scan confirms osteoporosis, the patient will then be given relevant lifestyle advice on how to manage the condition and treatment will be discussed if necessary.
Speaking about the new service, Geraldine McKay, Director of Acute Services said: “With an aging population it is vital that we raise awareness about issues such as bone health and osteoporosis. Fracture Liaison Services are a proven, cost effective way of reducing the impact of osteoporosis and fractures through identifying people with fractures caused by low trauma injuries.
“I am convinced this new service will bring great benefits to the local population whilst reducing the pressures on the hospital.”
Dr David Armstrong, Consultant Rheumatologist said “It is not always necessary to treat osteoporosis with medication and the decision about what treatment you have, if any, will depend on your risk of fracture. Simple lifestyle changes, such as incorporating vitamin D and extra calcium in your diet will often be sufficient.”