Rare disease education sessions offered to practices

3rd Dec 2013

A centre for a rare and complex disease is offering education sessions to practice staff across the midlands.

The Birmingham Centre of Excellence for Behçet’s Syndrome has now been running for a year from its base at the Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre, at City Hospital. Behçet’s syndrome is a rare multi system vasculitic condition that causes inflammation of the blood vessels, mainly on the venous side of the circulation. Behçet’s is a multisystem disease; it may involve all organs and affect the central nervous system, causing memory loss and impaired speech, balance and movement. Symptoms include recurrent oral and genital ulcers and potentially blinding eye inflammation, and may also cause various types of skin lesions, arthritis, bowel inflammation and meningitis. The effects of the disease may include blindness, stroke, inflammation in the spinal cord and intestinal complications.

Debbie Mitton, lead nurse at the centre, is now offering education sessions within GP practices for all staff, but particularly practice nurses, to raise awareness of symptoms and to advise on referral and treatment.

Debbie said: “Although various schemes for diagnosis and classification have been suggested over the years, none of them are perfect, and there is no diagnostic blood test for Behçet’s syndrome. Therefore, diagnosis depends on the ability and experience of the healthcare professional in recognising the characteristic features of the condition and eliminating other possibilities, and depends on a high index of suspicion.

“In order to spread the word about the condition, I am offering education sessions to all GP practices across the West Midlands and beyond. I am also planning a study afternoon for GPs sometime early next year, and GPs and their staff will be very welcome to attend.”

For more information, contact Debbie Mitton on 0121 507 4243 or 07816 771250.




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