How many shots have been fired at – and missed – James Bond over his 22-film career to date? An academic in the New Scientist has recently calculated that the 007 hero has managed to dodge 4,662 poorly aimed bullets.
Bond, famous for his gun-toting escapades, daring dalliances with villains and henchmen, and his love of a dry martini, is the unlikely but fitting inspiration behind our latest campaign film to promote awareness and prevention of a serious health condition.
While the 4,662 missed Bond bullets is a staggering number, another startling statistic in our area of interest is that every month in the East Midlands, ambulances are called to up to 500 people experiencing a hypoglycaemic event. Four out of every 10 of those people are then taken to hospital for treatment. Unfortunately this is a rising trend.
Hypoglycaemia is an abnormally low level of sugar (glucose) in the blood. When the glucose level is too low, the body does not have enough energy to carry out its activities - this is described as a 'hypo'. Hypoglycaemia is most commonly associated with diabetes, and mainly occurs if someone with diabetes takes too much insulin, misses a meal, or exercises too hard.
But where is the 007 secret agent connection you ask? How has the character of Bond inspired a video on a diabetes-linked condition? Surely episodes of hypoglycaemia are not linked to evil baddies intent on global domination, working up their heinous plots from a space station or in the crater of an extinct volcano?
The answer can be seen in the new campaign video from the East Midlands Cardiovascular Network – available at http://www.emcvn.nhs.uk/diabetes/
The video promotes a new e-learning course for clinicians from NHS Diabetes, to raise awareness of how to prevent and treat cases of hypo. The delivery of best practice, evidence-based care has the potential to significantly improve patient outcomes and save the NHS millions of pounds. It is estimated that hypoglycaemia costs the NHS (hospitalisation and ambulances) nationally nearly £17 million a year.
The video takes some of the questions contained within the NHS Diabetes free e-learning module and puts them in the entertaining context of a secret agent interrogating the manipulative Dr Low (blood sugar), about hypo. Respect is paid to the film heritage of Bond with some catchphrase references and the use of the archetypal villain’s white cat, which in our case is made from sugar cubes.
The video is designed to raise a smile of course but the important message is to highlight awareness of the problem of hypo and that action can be taken to improve clinical practice through clinicians accessing the online training available at www.emcvn.nhs.uk/hypo
The e-learning module helps clinicians understand the signs, symptoms and risk factors for hypoglycaemia as well as prevention and treatment. It is a flexible e-learning package that can be stopped and started as required and generally takes about 30 minutes to complete. Successful completion produces a certificate which can be useful for evidence of continuing professional development. I would encourage colleagues across the NHS in the East Midlands to take advantage of this free training which should help to improve knowledge and practice. After all, we now know that on average 9.3 villains die in every Bond movie. Perhaps our video might lead to the health of 9.3 lives being improved with every view…