Diabetes Misdiagnosis Compensation Claims

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If treatment has been delayed by misdiagnosis this can lead to serious complications caused by diabetes. Diabetes misdiagnosis is unfortunately quite common and the effects of misdiagnosis or late diagnosis can be serious and life changing. Diabetes, if left untreated, can leave you with lifelong disability and can even cause fatalities in very serious cases.

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    What are the symptoms of diabetes?

    Symptoms include:

    • Thirst
    • Tiredness
    • Frequent urination
    • Blurred vision
    • Weight loss

    How is diabetes diagnosed?

    Diagnosis is the same for Type 1 and Type 2. if after speaking to your GP they think diabetes is a possible cause the next step is a simple urine test. If your test comes back positive for glucose you will then be requested to take a blood test for diabetes. The tests / results and diagnosis are usually a quick and straight forward process. You can then move onto treatment.

    How is diabetes treated?

    Treatment can vary but all treatment for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes aims to get glucose levels in the blood to normal levels or as close as possible. If you are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes then treatment will involve insulin treatments like injections to keep glucose levels down to normal levels. You should be frequently monitored by your GP and care team.

    With Type 2 diabetes lifestyle is often the first thing to take a look at. Healthy eating, losing weight and exercising regularly can help enormously. You will often be recommended to reduce fat and sugar intake and taking up aerobic exercise. Sometimes you might need to take insulin based medication to lower glucose levels alongside your lifestyle changes.

    Delayed treatment and referral

    Once diabetes has been diagnosed it is also essential that the correct treatment is carried out immediately or unnecessary damage can occur. If you have experienced poor care or management of type 1 or type 2 diabetes then you may have developed serious side-effects. Complications include:

    Some complications caused by misdiagnosis and delayed treatment:

    • Heart attack and strokes – properties in the blood can lead to increased clot formation, increasing the risk of coronary artery disease, a heart attack or stroke.
    • Kidney disease and failure – if the blood vessels in kidneys become blocked, the kidneys work less efficiently. In severe cases this can lead to kidney failure.
    • Nerve damage – poor blood sugar control can lead to diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage) which mainly affects the legs and feet.
    • Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) – poorly controlled or higher than normal blood sugar levels in diabetics can cause the arteries to narrow, reducing blood flow to the limbs. This can result in other serious conditions including diabetic foot.
    • Blindness – diabetic retinopathy can be caused by high blood sugar levels which damage the retina. If left undiagnosed and untreated it can cause blurred vision or blindness.
    • Amputations – failure to diagnose or understand the severity of infection and/or gangrene can often result in limb loss.
    • Undiagnosed bone fractures – individuals with diabetes are at an increased risk of osteoporosis and fracture owing to multiple factors.
    • Osteomyelitis – an infection and inflammation of the bone, a common complication of diabetic foot ulcers and/or infections.
    • Miscarriage and stillbirth – women with diabetes have an increased risk of miscarriage or stillbirth. Glucose levels have to be very carefully controlled during pregnancy.

    The Diabetic Foot

    Both forms of diabetes are associated with arterial disease, affecting both large and small vessels. In addition to the vascular problems, diabetic patients can also have a sensory neuropathy. Sensory neuropathy is an abnormality of the nerves, whereby the feet become less sensitive. As a result of decreased sensation in the feet, diabetic patients are more likely to injure themselves from simple blisters due to excessive walking, or trauma, such as standing on a nail or a drawing pin, going unnoticed to the patient.

    Increased Risk of Infection

    Because diabetic patients are more prone to infection, they have to be treated carefully. When any patient presents with an ulcerated area on the foot or toes, diabetes should be excluded. These patients should then have a full history taken and undergo a proper examination.

    If there are signs of arterial insufficiency and these signs include diminished pulses, pallor, pain, signs of slow healing or evidence of uncontrolled infection, then a formal vascular assessment should be carried out.

    Treatment and Prevention

    If large vessel disease is evident, this can be treated with angioplasty or vascular reconstruction. Treatment with antibiotics and surgical removal of superficial dead tissue should also be used.

    Because diabetic patients are prone to injury, great care should be given to their footwear. Careful chiropody and appropriate padding in the shoes should be used. Many diabetic foot problems arise simply due to shearing forces in the foot during walking, which result in tissue disruption beneath the surface followed by a cavity, infection and an ulcer.

    Medical Negligence and Unnecessary Amputation

    Our specialist solicitors have handled many medical negligence cases involving diabetic patients. One of the single most common complaints is that the patient feels they have undergone an unnecessary amputation and that, with proper treatment, this could amputation have been avoided. Amputation is not an inevitable outcome of diabetic foot ulceration.

    If the doctor has failed to examine the limb and failed to note the presence of an underlying circulatory insufficiency, this may well represent unacceptable medical practice. Continuing treatment when the medical records clearly illustrate a deterioration is, again, unacceptable. A delay in referral or a failure to appreciate the urgency of the situation may prejudice the outcome.

    If you have suffered from diabetic foot and feel this could have been prevented, please contact our medical negligence team today on 0333 987 4161.

    Common Questions Relating to Diabetes Misdiagnosis

    • Flu
    • Fatigue/ chronic fatigue syndrome
    • Cushings Disease
    • Haemochromatosis
    • Asthma
    • Pancreatitis
    • Viral infections
    • Sinus Infections

    How much you can claim will depend on a number of factors related to the injury received from a defective medical product. Some of those factors are listed below:

    • Degree of pain, suffering and on-going problems caused by the defective product
    • Loss of earnings from being unable to work / return to work
    • Support and care that you need now and in the future related to your injury
    • Support for modifications made to your home
    • Specialist mobility equipment required

    The first thing to do is to get in touch with us so we can provide a free consultation and discuss your case. We can quickly work out if you have a claim by asking a few questions. We will also let you know if you will benefit from a no win no fee arrangement.

    If after your free consultation you decide to proceed with a compensation claim, we will proceed with the stages below.

    Investigation Stage
    We need to determine the extent of your injury and any monetary losses directly related to your injury or illness. It may be necessary to have a medical examination carried out to accurately identify your injury and assess your suffering.

    Compensation Calculation
    We will calculate how much compensation you are likely to receive from a successful claim taking into account the various factors associated with your injury including loss of income, pain and suffering, medical expenses and future expenses including future care and specialists equipment and any modifications necessary to your home. We then will put this amount to your opponent and they have two options. Accept the claim, or contest the claim.

    If your opponent accepts then you will be awarded the compensation due. If they do not accept the claim then the next phase will be court proceedings. Please not this does not always mean a case goes to trial it simply means a court takes over management of the case where an opponent still has the opportunity to settle your claim. If you have to go to court rest assured we will be with you every step of the way. And remember if we agreed to handle your claim under a no win no fee agreement then you will not have to pay anything if your claim was unsuccessful.

    As with almost all compensation claims of this type you have three years from the date of the injury / illness caused to start a claim. Sometimes there are exceptions, for example people unable to make their own legal decisions such as children or adults unable to make there own legal decisions.

    In the case of defective medical equipment / products a claim must also be made within 10 years of that product going into circulation. This cannot be extended. Time limits are always on a case by case basis. We can of course help identify this when investigating your claim.

    If you or a loved one has suffered injury due to negligence and misdiagnosis please contact one of our specialist solicitors on 0333 987 4161 to discuss your claim.

    In The News

    A man with a 20 year history of insulin dependent diabetes presented to his general practitioner having trodden on a nail.

    Read more . . . 

    Despite occasional reports to the contrary, patients affected by medical negligence do not usually initiate compensation claims solely for financial reasons. According to a recent investigation, other motives play a part and – in several cases – a combination of factors. Indeed, as experienced legal practitioners and medical experts recognise, complaints against the National Health Service are seldom about money alone.

    Read more . . . 


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