A misdiagnosis can mean someone is not diagnosed with the condition they have. Instead, they are diagnosed with a condition they do not have. This can bring with it different effects on personal health and well being. In this guide, we are discussing diabetes misdiagnosis compensation claims.
If you visited your local hospital or your GP with this condition and they either missed or misdiagnosed it you may wonder if this entitles you to make a medical negligence compensation claim? This doesn’t necessarily mean that the medical professional acted negligently. This guide will provide you with the information to make an informed decision of whether you have a valid claim.
This article aims to provide you with all the facts to make an informed decision about starting a claim. At Medical Negligence Assist.co.uk we understand that the prospect of suing a hospital or healthcare provider can feel daunting. It may well be something you have never considered doing before.
Making a claim could seem too much whilst you come to terms with a misdiagnosis. Our article aims to give information to help alleviate concerns. And, our friendly team are available right now to offer structured advice. You can access this by:
- Calling us now 0800 652 3087
- Emailing or writing to us at Medical Negligence Assist.co.uk
- Using the ‘live support’ option in the bottom right of this screen
Select A Section
- What Is Diabetes Misdiagnosis?
- What Is Diabetes?
- Symptoms Of Diabetes
- Diagnosis And Misdiagnosis Of Diabetes
- What Is Negligent Diabetes Treatment?
- What Are The Side Effects Of A Diabetes Misdiagnosis?
- Types Of Diabetes Misdiagnosis
- Complications Caused By Misdiagnosis And Negligent Treatment
- Latent Autoimmune Diabetes In Adults (LADA) And Misdiagnosis
- How Long Do I Have To Start A Claim?
- Calculating Diabetes Misdiagnosis Compensation
- No Win No Fee Diabetes Misdiagnosis Compensation Claims
- Getting In Touch With Our Team
- How Many People Have Diabetes In The UK?
- Resources On Diabetes And Negligence
- FAQs About Negligent Treatment Of Diabetes
A diabetes misdiagnosis can be life-threatening. Those who suffer from diabetes often need to take medication daily so that they can maintain their sugar levels. Often diabetics are prescribed insulin to regulate their sugar levels. If a diagnosis is not made at the earliest possible time those who suffer from diabetes can suffer negative impacts on their health. Have you had your condition misdiagnosed? Perhaps it went on to create additional health problems? What are your options now? How might a medical negligence claim help you? This article explains.
The mandate for the General Medical Council (GMC) was set out in the Medical Act 1983. The GMC oversees medical education and training. It also gives medical professionals guidance on professional conduct and ethics.
Healthcare providers or individual professionals can be found liable if they cause you avoidable suffering because of negligence.
If it is proven that a medical professional acted within the realm of their expertise and adhered to standard procedures but a misdiagnosis took place it would be less likely that a case for medical negligence would succeed. However, if it is found that they acted negligently, causing you to suffer avoidable pain, you could start a medical negligence claim for diabetes misdiagnosis compensation.
The consequences of a negligent misdiagnosis for something as serious as diabetes could cast a shadow over your health for years.
Diabetes can be a chronic and long term health condition that disrupts the management of glucose in your body. The normal process is that carbohydrates from food are turned into sugar (or glucose) and released into the bloodstream. The pancreas releases insulin which acts to control blood glucose levels.
- Type 1 diabetes: This is less common and is where your body can’t make insulin because cells that produce it are attacked by the body’s immune system.
- Type 2 diabetes: Your pancreas can’t create enough insulin or doesn’t work properly.
Some diabetics require insulin to be administered at regular intervals to ensure glucose can be controlled in an effective way. Diabetes can cause serious health issues over time to your organs and even cause blindness.
There is no cure for diabetes at the moment. Lifestyle alterations such as diet and healthy eating can help, as can regular exercise. Diabetes sufferers will be prescribed insulin from their GP. Usually, they need to self-administer the insulin they require which means they must self-regulate.
Diabetes symptoms vary. Some people, particularly those who suffer from type 2 diabetes, may not notice their symptoms because they can be general and slower to appear. In type 1 diabetes, however, the symptoms can appear quickly.
Some of the typical signs and symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are:
- Increased thirst or need to drink
- Frequent need to urinate
- Extreme bouts of hunger
- Unexplained or sudden weight loss
- Ketones presenting in the urine (ketones are created by the breakdown of muscle and fat when there is insulin deficiency)
- Blurred vision
- Slow-healing ulcers or sores
- Infections of the gums
Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, but symptoms can come on particularly quickly in children. Type 2 diabetes is the more common type and can develop in patients of any age but is more common in those over the age of 40 (or 25 for south Asian people).
Diagnosis is usually the same for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. After you have discussed your concerns with your GP, and if they see fit, they should take a urine sample for testing. If they believe you have diabetes, according to the NHS, you should be sent to the hospital for a blood test. The results can determine what type of diabetes you have and form the basis of your treatment.
Approaches to treatment can vary for type 1 and type 2 diabetes but the end result is to aim to get glucose levels in the blood back to normal as quickly as possible. The treatment may involve insulin injections to control these glucose levels. During this process, a medical professional may be carefully monitoring your reactions and responses to treatment.
Treatment for type 2 diabetes involves medication and a re-assessment of lifestyle choices. Eating a healthier more balanced diet, taking exercise regularly, and losing weight can all manifest dramatic improvements in a short space of time. Insulin-based medication may be offered as part of this new healthier regime.
Negligent diabetes treatment could refer to the fact that the treatment a diabetic has received has been below the normal standard that would be expected of a physician. This could be in regards to a diagnosis, failure to refer for tests, and not providing the patient with the medication they need.
Diabetes can get worse as time progresses. If no treatment is being given because there has been no diagnosis the patient’s condition will continue to deteriorate. With Type 1 diabetes this can have very serious consequences for the patient.
All medical professionals owe each and every patient they agree to treat a duty of care. This means that they agree not to allow the patient to come to any avoidable harm. Medical negligence can occur when a patient is harmed in a way that could have been prevented had the doctor provided the right level of care.
Diabetes can include an array of medical problems and a misdiagnosis could mean that a patient runs the risk of developing any of them. The increased risk of infection is perhaps the most immediately noticeable as diabetes sufferers are prone to circulatory issues that give rise to sores and ulcerations in the extremities such as the feet. Feeling tired, always needing the toilet, and signs of slow healing are also indicators of the disease.
Once diabetes of any type has been diagnosed, it is vital that the correct healthcare program is developed to tackle the issue as quickly as possible. It is vital that diabetes is diagnosed and treated correctly to avoid;
- Heart attack and strokes – high blood glucose can damage blood vessels and give rise to clotting, increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke.
- Kidney disease and failure
- Nerve damage – poor blood sugar control could lead to diabetic neuropathy.
- Blindness – diabetic retinopathy is caused by high blood sugar levels that can cause damage to the retina.
- Amputations – failure to diagnose or understand the seriousness of an infection can result in the need to amputate a limb.
- Miscarriage and stillbirth – women with diabetes can have an increased likelihood of miscarriage or stillbirth. It’s essential that their glucose levels are carefully controlled during pregnancy.
There are four main recognised forms of diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is believed to be caused by an autoimmune reaction when the body mistakenly attacks itself and ceases the creation of insulin. This can present in children and young adolescents and symptoms can come on quickly.
Type 2 Diabetes
With type 2 diabetes. There is a ‘struggle’ to keep sugar levels where they need to be for optimum good health and faculty. This form of diabetes can develop over a course of several years and more commonly affects adults.
Gestational diabetes is a type that develops in pregnant women who have never had diabetes. For sufferers of gestational diabetes, their baby might be at a greater risk of health problems.
A diabetic misdiagnosis in this scenario could cause significant issues for both mother and child.
With prediabetes, the blood sugar levels are higher than they should be but not sufficiently high enough to warrant a type 2 diagnosis. Still detected with the same tests, it’s essential the healthcare provider closely monitors the difference between prediabetes and type 2. If prediabetes is spotted early, it may not develop into type 2.
Misdiagnosis can happen for a number of reasons. A doctor may use all the information they have at their disposal, provide the right level of care and still misdiagnose your symptoms.
However, a negligent misdiagnosis could be caused by the below.
- The medical professional didn’t listen to you about your symptoms and made a diagnosis anyway.
- They deliberately ignored clear indicators of diabetes where other professionals wouldn’t have.
- They misinterpreted clear test results.
One of the most disturbing complications that can arise from diabetes is a condition known as the ‘diabetic foot‘. This occurs when an arterial disease affects both the large and small blood vessels causing vascular issues and the extremities of the body can suffer circulatory problems. Although it can be treated it is nonetheless very distressing.
In addition to this, the patient can suffer sensory neuropathy which affects the nerves which means the feet become less sensitive. As a consequence of this decreased sensitivity, injuries like blisters or sores can more easily develop.
Trauma to the foot can occur (standing on a nail) which goes unnoticed by the patient leading to septicemia issues. Closer attention to chiropody and proper footwear could help a great deal n this area.
Perhaps one of the more severe complications of diabetes leading to foot issues is amputation.
These complications of diabetes could arise if the condition was to go undiagnosed or it was misdiagnosed. They can happen as a result of the diabetic’s condition and not be due to any negligent medical care. But if they arise because a medical professional has been negligent when diagnosing and treating you there could be a foundation for a medical negligence claim.
Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA) is almost as though it is in the middle of type 1 and type 2. Although it may edge closer to type 1.
The symptoms are the same as type1 and type2. It is not yet considered a separate type. Diagnosing it can be difficult but the symptoms can come on slower than type 1 but quicker than type 2.
Diagnosing any type of diabetes is really important. The longer the sufferer has the condition the more the condition can worsen. This is not so more true than if the patient is left without the treatment they need.
As it currently stands, medical negligence claims for misdiagnoses time limits are as follows:
- 3 years from the date of first becoming aware that your avoidable and unreasonable suffering was caused by medical negligence. (This could be, for example, when you realised that a misdiagnosis at least contributed to suffering.)
- A claimant under the age of 18 can initiate a claim after they turn 18. This means they have three years from their 18th birthday or 3 years from the date of knowledge that negligence caused or worsened their suffering.
- It’s possible to carry out the duties in a compensation claim for a minor (before their 18th birthday) when you act as a ‘litigation friend’. This can be an adult who has the child’s best interests at heart.
- A claimant who lacks the mental capacity to claim could also have a litigation friend act on their behalf. Alternatively, if they recover their mental capacity before this happens, they would have three years from the beginning of their recovery or 3 years from the date of knowledge.
If you choose to use the services of a No Win No Fee lawyer, they can arrange an independent medical assessment for you. There are two reasons for this assessment:
- To help prove that your suffering was caused or worsened by the misdiagnosis.
- To get evidence of the severity of your suffering.
A medical professional would meet with you to assess your condition and create a report. A solicitor could use this report to help value your suffering.
The compensation you could receive for your physical and mental suffering would fall under general damages. The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) is a publication that lists parameters of compensation for physical and mental suffering. Solicitors use it to help them value injuries.
General damages are intended to acknowledge the impact of (for example):
- The pain and suffering the injuries may have caused you because diabetes went undiagnosed.
- Mental distress
- Increased risk of any long term health damage.
Using figures from the JCG, we’ve created the compensation table below to demonstrate general damages.
|Body part affects||Severity||Award bracket from JCG|
|Foot||Amputation of one foot||£78,800 to £102,890|
|Toes||Amputation of all toes||£34,270 to £52,620|
|Great toe||Amputation of the big toe||In the region of £29,380|
|Bladder||(c) Serious impairment with incontinence issues||£60,050 to £75,010|
|Eye||Complete Loss of Sight in One Eye||£46,240 to £51,460|
|Eye||Serious but incomplete loss of vision||£22,230 to £36,960|
In addition to these general damages, you could collect proof of the financial losses that your injuries might have created. This is known as special damages.
A good medical negligence solicitor can help advise you on how to track all these costs, both in the short and long term, enabling you to present a claim for compensation that properly acknowledges all the unwanted effects of these injuries. Because medical negligence claims can only be made once, it’s important to include everything.
As you read this article, a clearer picture of how you could claim for diabetes misdiagnosis may emerge. You might realise just how many items you need to find extra money for. The stress and anguish created by an undiagnosed medical condition may mean you feel unable to cope. You may wonder how a legal professional could help.
No Win No Fee agreements have many advantages for people who find themselves a victim of medical negligence:
- When you enter into a No Win No Fee contract there are no solicitor fees needed to pay upfront nor as the case advances.
- Lawyers working with you in this way will only deduct their fee at the end of a case if it wins.
- If your case fails, they require no payment of their fees.
Furthermore, our panel of lawyers are realistic about the chances of a case winning. If they feel your diabetes misdiagnosis looks weak, they will tell you that right at the very start. Without a doubt, this saves time and disappointment for you.
In addition to this, a lawyer from our panel will scrutinize your claim and look at every piece of evidence available to secure you the highest award on your behalf.
- Call us now 0800 652 3087
- Email or write to us at Medical Negligence Assist.co.uk
- Use the ‘live support’ option to the bottom right of this screen
In the UK. almost 3.7 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes. 12.3 million people are at increased risk of type 2 and 4.6 million currently live with diabetes.
Lastly, in conclusion, there are other resources that could help right now. If you’re looking for advice about a stillborn injury claim or just want to know more about the complaints procedure against the medical establishment that treated you, these highlighted links can help. Also, misdiagnosed cancer negligence is covered. In conclusion, there are some FAQs on this topic below.
Could making a claim affect my medical care?
Making a claim shouldn’t affect how you’re treated in regard to your medical care. No medical professional sets out to cause their patient any harm and will want to do all they can to set things right.
How long will it take to get a compensation settlement?
Each case varies on evidence and the potential for argument between you and the defendant about what is an appropriate settlement amount.
Will I get an interim payment?
Interim payments are usually possible when the defendant has admitted liability already.
Does my solicitor need to see my medical records?
Your medical notes would show the extent of your suffering which may be used in conjunction with your medical assessment to value your claim.
Guide by Jeff
Edited by Ruth/LisM.