"Good diabetes management has been shown to reduce the risk of complications."
Diabetes is a common health condition, with 3.2 million people having been diagnosed with diabetes in the UK as of 2013 and this figure is set to rise to 5 million people by 2025 (figures courtesy of Diabetes: Facts and Stats prepared by Diabetes UK).
Living with diabetes is not easy and requires constant management and regular review by health care practitioners. Luckily diabetes is well understood in this day and age and is medically treatable, with proper care allowing patients to lead their normal day to day lives with minimal complications. Unfortunately doctors and other health care professionals have misdiagnosed diabetes. We have helped our clients claim compensation for diabetic negligence.
Good diabetes management has been shown to reduce the risk of complications. There are times when the care provided to diabetics is insufficient or in some cases symptoms may be missed. When diabetes is not well managed, it can be associated with serious complications including heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease and amputations leading to disability and premature mortality.
What is Diabetes and who is affected by it?
There are 2 types of Diabetes and these are:
Type 1 Diabetes
This is a disease of the immune system and is a life-long condition with sufferers generally being diagnosed when they are children or young adults.
Type 1 diabetes causes the immune system to become over-sensitive and attack the cells in the pancreas, which is responsible for producing insulin to process blood sugar, causing them to become damaged or destroyed. This consequently means that the pancreas cannot produce insulin and this leads to excess sugar in the blood, which can be very harmful.
Type 2 Diabetes
This is caused by lifestyle factors, such as being overweight and eating a diet high in sugar, and is usually diagnosed in middle-aged or older people.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body is not making enough insulin, or the insulin it is making is not being used properly. Consistent overeating and high levels of sugar associated with obesity can cause high amounts of insulin to regularly be released. Over time this causes the body to become resistant to the insulin and it stops working as effectively to process sugar, or not at all. This causes blood sugar levels to reach the dangerous levels associated with diabetes.
What is Diabetic Negligence?
Diabetic Negligence is the mismanagement of diabetes by health care practitioners and tends to occur in the following 3 scenarios:
It is possible that the diagnosis of diabetes may be delayed, either by way of the medical practitioner dismissing the diabetic symptoms, or, misdiagnosing the symptoms they are presented with.
Common symptoms include:
If the medical practitioner fails to undertake sufficient investigations when presented with symptoms for diabetes, which may suggest you are diabetic, then the condition may escalate causing further issues with your health.
Poor care during the monitoring and treatment process
Problems arising from diabetes should be prevented through appropriate monitoring and pre-emptive treatment. There are guidelines in place to ensure that the condition is cared for correctly, providing the medical practitioners with guidance on what checks they should be making to ensure that matters do not get out of hand for the person with diabetes. Medical practitioners must provide advice and treatment that allows those that have been diagnosed with diabetes to stay safe, and if this is not done then avoidable injury could be caused.
If untreated or poorly managed, diabetes can cause a full range of life threatening conditions. For example, if someone with diabetes develops complications, such as problems with their feet caused by the blood being restricted, and it is not treated properly it could lead to the patient requiring a limb to be amputated needlessly.
Inadequate care in the community
Some diabetics will require care in the community to manage their condition and any complications that have arisen from it. This can be required because they are vulnerable, elderly or housebound, and regular visits from district nurses in their own home may be the only way that their diabetes can be adequately cared for.
It is important that district nurses keep a close eye on any unusual developments and ensure that the patient is referred to their doctor or hospital for urgent treatment if it becomes apparent that a problem has arisen. An example of this can be problems with a patient’s feet and the development of diabetic foot ulcers.
Problems resulting from Diabetic Negligence
Blood sugar levels which are regularly too high can cause damage to the veins and arteries. If this damage continues it can restrict the blood supply to the limbs and affect the heart and other internal organs as well as the eyes, leading to serious problems, including:
However, it is not just high blood sugar levels which are dangerous in people with diabetes. Because people with diabetes rely on medication to maintain their blood sugar at a healthy level, any mistakes made with the administration of insulin could cause levels to drop to an unsafe point. This can cause hypoglycaemia (very low blood sugar), which can lead to the sufferer falling into a diabetic coma if not treated promptly. Hypoglycaemia can cause brain damage and is potentially fatal if not treated with extreme urgency. Therefore, it is extremely important that the information provided by the health care practitioner is accurate and up to date.
How can claiming for Diabetic Negligence compensation help me?
Making a claim for compensation where you believe diabetic negligence to have taken place is never an easy decision. You will have placed your trust in the medical practitioner’s involved and as such, your faith in the medical profession is likely to have been shaken.
If you feel that the complications you suffered could have been avoided, it is critical that you contact us as quickly as possible to begin making a claim for diabetic negligence. The goal is to allow you to be able get on with the rest of your life and make as full a recovery as possible. Compensation for diabetic negligence can allow you to fund the treatment, care and equipment you may need to recover as far as possible from the effects caused. In addition it can provide loss of earnings if you are not able to work and compensation for the pain and suffering experienced.
Why choose NewLaw solicitors?
Our team of medical negligence solicitors are experts in bringing justice in cases of this nature and will help you understand the complex claims process involved. With years of experience and the ability to work with you sensitively, NewLaw’s medical negligence team is on hand and will be there for you every step of the way.
What can you do?
If you are distressed by surgery that has taken place, whether through the NHS or a private medical practitioner, contact one of our experienced members of staff to discuss your situation on 0333 003 1909
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