Saturday 14 November was World Diabetes Day. Diabetes is a chronic health condition which is on the increase and can result in associated health problems ranging from Cardiovascular Disease to Diabetic Amputation, particularly of toes, feet or legs.
Where Diabetes arising during pregnancy (Gestational Diabetes), this increases the risk of stillbirth or having a baby with a congenital deformity. It can also complicate a pregnancy with a developing fetus growing large for dates which in turn can lead to difficulty with a vaginal delivery.
It is recognised that the rapid rise in diagnosed cases is a major problem for the Healthcare system as it produces complex health problems which can be difficult and intractable to treat as well as complicating any underlying condition.
What may appear to be straightforward in a non-Diabetic patient eg fracture or general wound healing, becomes difficult to treat in a Diabetic patient.
Current estimates of the numbers of people who have the condition in the UK range from 3.2 – 3.5 million with potentially hundreds of thousands of people undiagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.
Lifestyle factors are frequently cited as factors in the rising numbers with a lack of exercise and obesity key issues. It is also a significant cause of premature death among younger people.
Education and health monitoring are key to reducing levels of the disease but many people still seem to be ignoring the message regarding healthy lifestyles.
We are sometimes asked to review the care given to Diabetic patients. Given the complexity of their health problems, it is essential that they have access to adequate and well organised systems of monitoring together with good foot care through Podiatry Services. Once care begins to fail, it can rapidly compound problems for a Diabetic patient.
If you or a member of your family have been affected by the issues set out in this article please contact a member of the Clinical Negligence Team on 0800 316 8892 who will be pleased to advise you further.