Clinical Negligence

Publish date

14 November 2019

Diabetes and Clinical Negligence Cases

There are around 3.8 million people who have been diagnosed with diabetes in the UK, and this number is rising: someone is diagnosed with diabetes every two minutes. It is estimated that there are a further 1 million people with diabetes who have not been diagnosed.

This means that over 5% of the UK’s population has diabetes. Poor control of diabetes can lead to damage of both small blood vessels (microvascular complications) and large blood vessels (macrovascular complications). Problems include:

  • Retinopathy and blindness
  • stroke
  • kidney disease
  • myocardial infarction (heart attack) and heart failure
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • neuropathy
  • erectile dysfunction.

Consequently, we are seeing a growing number of clinical negligence cases related to the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes. Our clinical negligence and personal injury team has dealt with a range of diabetes-related cases, including:

  • Diabetes in pregnancy: This can lead to a number of complications for both mother and baby if blood sugar levels and insulin levels are not tightly controlled. Mothers with diabetes (including gestational diabetes) are at increased risk of still births. They are also at increased risk of babies with macrosomia and associated health risks, including birth injuries such as shoulder dystocia
  • Poor control of ischaemic limb disease, including diabetic foot disease, which can lead to amputation
  • Failure to diagnose or delay in diagnosing diabetic keto-acidosis (a life threatening emergency that, if left untreated, results in death)
  • Delayed diagnosis of diabetes: Evidence has shown that identifying people who are pre-diabetic and assisting them in making lifestyle changes can delay the onset of diabetes. People with diabetes should also be getting regular health checks, which can identify and treat any problems at an early stage.

Organisations such as Diabetes UK are raising awareness of the diabetes-related healthcare you are entitled to, including annual health checks and access to specialists and diabetes education courses. Diabetes UK has a list of 15 healthcare essentials that people with diabetes should ensure they are getting. The list can be viewed here: Your 15 diabetes healthcare essentials.

How can Thomson Snell & Passmore help?

The first thing many of our clients want to know is: “why was this allowed to happen to me?”, “what went wrong?”, or even “is this going to be allowed to happen to someone else?” During the clinical negligence investigation we help you find answers to such questions. Over many years, Thomson Snell & Passmore has worked with leaders in endocrinology,  diabetology and related fields, such as general practitioners, vascular surgeons, cardiologists and others. We help to find the right experts to investigate our clients’ cases and identify the care and support they need as a result of the negligence.

We aim to provide our clients and their families with peace of mind. Our objective is to put our clients in the position they would have been if the negligence had not occurred. For example, if our clients are unable to return to work, they may lose out on years of income and pension, and we help our clients to claim these financial losses as part of their case.

Part of this process involves identifying any treatment or care needs our clients have. For example, in amputation cases, our clients will usually need adaptations to their homes, and aids and equipment to help them enjoy the activities and hobbies they enjoyed before the negligence occurred.  In some cases, physical limitations may have an impact on our clients’ mental health. We often come across clients with anxiety, depression, or adjustment disorders, and our experts may identify treatment that will help to resolves these difficulties.

About us

Thomson Snell & Passmore have experience dealing with a large variety of cases linked to diabetes. We are specialist medical negligence lawyers and our clinical negligence & personal injury team is one of the most established teams in the country.

We are highly ranked by two of the most prestigious, independent guides to the legal profession “Chambers and Partners” and “The Legal 500”. We have also been recognised by The Modern Law Awards for Personal Injury Team of the Year.

If you think you may have a case, please call our team on 01892 701516.  At the outset we will tell you whether you have a claim for medical negligence. Throughout the case we will clearly explain each step of the process.

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