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Diabetes Negligence Compensation Claims
If you have developed complications from diabetes arising from medical negligence you may qualify to make a compensation claim.
At JMW our experience in handling diabetes negligence claims means we understand your situation and are well-placed to help you secure the compensation you are owed.
We take many cases on a no win, no fee basis. For a free, no-obligation assessment of your case, call us on 0800 054 6512 or fill out our online enquiry form and a member of our medical negligence team will call you back to listen to your story and help you decide whether to pursue a compensation claim.
How JMW Can Help
Our medical negligence solicitors understand that a diagnosis of diabetes can affect all aspects of your life. We will listen to your story in complete confidence and use the information provided to reach a settlement that will enable you to cope with the avoidable injuries you suffered due to the negligence of a clinician.
The team, headed by leading clinical negligence solicitor Eddie Jones, is considered one of the best of its kind across England and Wales and includes solicitors who are on the Law Society’s specialist panel for clinical negligence. Eddie is also on the Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) solicitor panel.
Causes of Diabetes Negligence Claims
There are a number of different negligent actions that can lead to complications from diabetes. These can include:
Delays in Diagnosis
If doctors and nurses do not heed signs and symptoms of diabetes or misdiagnose your illness, this can lead to a delay in diagnosis and the condition going unchecked and therefore untreated.
Poor Care and Management
Prompt diagnosis of diabetes is crucial, but proper care and management of the condition can make the difference between remaining healthy and developing serious side-effects. Healthcare workers must provide advice and treatment that allows patients with diabetes to stay safe in order to prevent injury.
Likewise, if someone with diabetes develops complications, such as problems with their feet caused by the blood flow being restricted, medical professionals must provide an acceptable standard of care to avoid irreparable damage being caused and the foot needing to be amputated.
Some diabetic patients require additional support to manage their condition and any complications that have arisen as a result. For example:
- Vulnerable individuals may need regular visits from a district nurse
- Elderly patients in a care home environment will need a high level of care
If this care isn’t delivered to a reasonable standard, significant injury can be caused, leading to many new health problems for the individual.
Potential Diabetes Complications Caused By Medical Negligence
Diabetes is a serious condition that causes a person’s blood sugar to be too high. It has two forms, type 1 and type 2, and a person with diabetes needs to carefully manage and control the condition with medication and good care; otherwise, consequences can include:
- Avoidable limb amputation
- Vision problems and blindness
- Heart disease
- Nerve damage
- Brain damage
Due to the obesity crisis the number of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is rising significantly and therefore the number of related negligence claims will also likely continue to increase. By adopting healthy eating and exercise habits, people who have type 2 diabetes can dramatically improve their wellbeing and, in some cases, even reverse the condition. In the infographic below, we examine the different ways in which your health can be improved through diet and exercise.
Find out more by clicking the image below:
What are the Symptoms of Diabetes?
The symptoms of the onset of diabetes include:
- Continually feeling very thirsty
- Frequent urination, particularly at night
- Extreme tiredness
- Unexpected and unexplained weight loss (type 1 only)
What are the Consequences of Diabetes?
The consequences of diabetes can be very serious. However, with good medical care and medication it can be controlled safely, allowing sufferers to lead a normal life.
Patients must monitor blood sugar levels and take regular injections of insulin in order to avoid the harmful effects of diabetes. High blood sugar levels can cause damage to the veins and arteries.
Over time this damage 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:
- Heart disease
- Limb amputations
- Blindness and vision problems
- Memory problems
In addition, 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 also cause brain damage and is potentially fatal if not treated with extreme urgency.
What are the Early Warning Signs of Diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious condition that needs to be carefully managed and controlled with medication and good care. However, being aware of the early warning signs and symptoms of diabetes can help you get a head start on seeking the help you need. Find out more about these warning signs in our video 'How much do you know about diabetes?'.
What is type 1 Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong condition of the immune system. The immune system exists to protect us from disease or infection but with 'autoimmune conditions', such as diabetes, the system mistakenly attacks healthy cells.
In the case of type 1 diabetes, the system attacks cells in the pancreas (responsible for producing insulin to process blood sugar) causing damage or even destruction of those cells. This in turn means that the pancreas cannot produce insulin leading to excess sugar in the blood.
Although researchers have yet to determine what causes type 1 diabetes, in many cases it is thought to be hereditary and those with a close family member with the condition are at greater risk.
What is type 2 Diabetes?
Far more people are affected by type 2 diabetes - which is caused by lifestyle factors - than type 1 diabetes. With type 2 diabetes, consistent overeating and high levels of sugar associated with obesity cause the pancreas to release high amounts of insulin regularly. Over time the body becomes 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.
The disease is often associated with obesity and people who are overweight. However there are many more reasons why people may be at risk of type 2 diabetes. We explore the various reasons why some people may be more susceptible to the condition, including their family history, ethnicity and age, in our infographic ‘Who is at risk of type 2 diabetes?’.
What is Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational diabetes affects women during pregnancy when unusually high levels of glucose are developed within the blood. The amount of glucose in the blood is usually controlled by insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, but during pregnancy your body becomes more resistant to the hormone so that the extra glucose and other nutrients are able to pass to the unborn baby and help it grow.
To counter this the body should produce more insulin but sometimes women cannot produce the amount of insulin required to ensure the glucose is transported to the body's cells. This is called gestational diabetes.
You are at increased risk of gestational diabetes if you:
- Are overweight
- Are of South Asian or African descent
- Are over 25 years of age
- Have a parent with type 2 diabetes
- Suffer from prediabetes
- Have previously given birth to a large baby
Gestational diabetes brings with it a number of signs and symptoms including:
- Blurred vision
- Increased thirst
- A dry mouth
- Recurring infections
- Needing to urinate frequently
According to the NHS, every pregnant woman with one or more risk factors should be offered a screening test for gestational diabetes at their first antenatal appointment.
In addition, a glucose tolerance test (GTT) should take place between weeks 24 and 28 of pregnancy to see how your body is dealing with the heightened level of glucose.
If you were not offered these tests and developed gestational diabetes, or if you were offered the tests and you were misdiagnosed, you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
If the condition is not treated appropriately or is misdiagnosed it could affect you and your baby causing complications that can include:
- Premature birth
- Low blood sugar and other health problems following birth
- Newborn jaundice
- Respiratory distress syndrome
- Increased chances of developing type 2 diabetes
- Macrosomia - your baby weighing more than 4kg
- Shoulder dystocia
Our infographic explains the various factors that can make a woman more likely to develop the disease. These include their age, ethnicity and medical history. View the infographic here.