The impacts of a delayed diagnosis of diabetes

Diabetes is one of the most prevalent and fastest growing ailments in the United Kingdom, with around 4.9 million people diagnosed and reportedly thousands more living with the disorder.

All types of diabetes are essentially caused by either the pancreas not creating enough insulin or the body’s cells not responding to the insulin produced. It is vitally important that if symptoms of diabetes are noticeable, even mildly, a medical professional should be contacted.

What is a delayed diagnosis?

Diabetes is a condition that can be managed successfully. However, one of the most important factors in successful management is to receive a diagnosis as early as possible. Unfortunately, this is often not the case.

A University of Exeter clinical study conducted with 200,000 people, found that those whose blood sugar levels were high enough to be at risk of Type 2 diabetes, only received a clinical diagnosis on average 2.3 years later. In fact, some of the study participants didn’t receive their diagnosis until five years had passed.

Delayed diagnosis of diabetes statistics

The necessity for a quick diabetes diagnosis becomes more pertinent when the statistics on the disorder are observed. It is thought that there are around 850,000 people in the U.K. living with Type 2 diabetes that are yet to be diagnosed. If fast diagnosis can be given, the reduction in future complications will be significant. If a diagnosis takes years to be given, it may cause serious health issues that could have been avoided otherwise.

In the U.K. alone, nearly 10,000 foot, leg and toe amputations are performed each year, as a direct results of diabetes. That’s nearly 185 amputations per week.

Diabetes is also one of the foremost causes of preventable sight loss in the country. In fact, almost 2,000 people per year have their sight affected by their diabetes.

Most devastatingly, more than 700 people a week die prematurely as result of diabetes, in the United Kingdom alone.

What are the implications of a delayed diagnosis of diabetes?

If your diabetes diagnosis was delayed or the care that you received was negligible, there can be some significant implications on your overall health.

In serious cases, heart attacks and strokes can occur due to increased clot formation in the blood. Kidney disease and even kidney failure can also be a significant issue if blood vessels in the organ become blocked.

Two of the most common issues that arise with delayed diabetes diagnosis are nerve damage and peripheral arterial disease, or PAD. These predominantly affect the legs and feet, which if left untreated for long enough, can lead to amputation as previously mentioned.

Other implications of delayed treatment include undiagnosed bone fractures due to osteoporosis, as well as inflammation of the bone known as osteomyelitis.

Another damaging implication, specifically for women is the increased risk of miscarriage or stillbirth. Glucose levels require rigorous control during pregnancy, but if a patient is unaware of their diabetic condition, this won’t be actioned, and serious complications could arise.

These are just some of the medical implications of a delayed diagnosis of diabetes. In fact, there are many other issues that could befall the patient if not treated correctly. This highlights the absolute necessity to visit a medical professional if you feel that you are displaying any symptoms. This will not only put your mind at ease, but it may also save you from years of complex health issues, or perhaps even save your life.

Medical negligence advice with Waldrons

If you feel that your diabetes had a delayed diagnosis that has caused you significant health problems as a result, Waldrons may be able to help.

With an experienced team of medical negligence lawyers ready to advise you on the best course of action, you could finally get the compensation you deserve. While this will not reverse the negligence, it may give you some peace that an admission of liability has been made and those lingering questions and doubts in your mind have been finally answered.

Our friendly, professional team offer a free telephone consultation service where initial discussions can be had, and we can establish whether there are significant grounds for a medical negligence claim for your case. Discussions can then be had as to the best funding options for you, including our ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreement.

Whether your claim is successful or unsuccessful or settled in or out of court, we will be supporting you every step of the way.

Contact Waldrons solicitors

Here at Waldrons our team of expert solicitors are on hand to speak to you, get in touch today!

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Last reviewed on 11/07/23 by Joseph Norton who is an Associate Director and Head of Compensation