Diabetes and medical malpractice

by Chris Kuhlman on January 7, 2016

Type 2 diabetes is a disease that interferes with the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar (glucose). Our bodies naturally manufacture insulin, the hormone that regulates blood glucose levels and helps use glucose as an energy source. But someone with type 2 diabetes is insulin resistant, and their pancreas struggles to provide an ever-increasing amount of insulin to make up for the difference. After a while, as the disease progresses, the pancreas can no longer provide enough insulin, and glucose stays in the blood instead of becoming food for the body’s cells. Additionally, without treatment, a diabetic person is prone to both dangerous highs and lows in his or her blood sugar levels.

Unmanaged diabetes can lead to blindness, kidney disease, nerve damage, injury to the heart, and atherosclerosis (plaque in the blood vessels). Atherosclerosis narrows the blood vessels and blocks blood from flowing through the arteries, particularly to the legs. This causes a complication called peripheral vascular disease. With such reduced blood flow, a diabetic is prone to infection in the feet and legs, and infections can get serious much faster for a diabetic person than for a person without the illness. A serious enough infection may require a diabetic person’s leg to be amputated. A person with peripheral vascular disease may also suffer from skin discoloration in his or her limbs and toes, pain while moving, and other foot symptoms.

Diabetes can be effectively managed through lifestyle change, pills, and insulin injections. But in order to walk the tightrope between too much and too little blood sugar, a patient needs to monitor his or her own blood glucose levels at home. If he or she has bloodflow problems, he or she needs to minimize risk of foot and leg infections. Without proper training and education, however, diabetes patients cannot care for themselves effectively. Patients need careful, ongoing contact with their medical caregivers: communication is essential. Doctors must make accurate, timely diagnoses to prevent their patients’ blood sugar levels from escalating to dangerous heights and causing possibly irreversible damage.

If you or a loved one has suffered diabetes-related complications due to your physician’s care or improper treatment instructions call Minnesota Medical Malpractice attorney at (612) 349-2747 for a free consultation and to learn more about your options.  Once you walk us through the timeline of your symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment, we can help to determine whether your medical professionals may have been negligent.

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