The 10th June until the 16th June 2019 marks the annual event of the Diabetes Week, set up by the charity, Diabetes UK. The aim of this week is to raise awareness of diabetes throughout the UK and attempt to limit the stigma around the disease. There will be events taking place all over the country, as the charity seeks to fundraise to better their research into the lifelong condition. For more information on Diabetes Week 2019, see: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/Get_involved/Diabetes-Week#facts

Diabetes is a condition, which affects approximately 4.7 million people within the UK; equating to one in 15 people. It occurs where the body’s blood sugars become excessively high, as the glucose that they digest from food is not being broken down by a hormone called insulin. There are many different types of diabetes that exist, however the typical ones are Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes.

Type 1 occurs primarily in children and young adults as cells within the pancreas, which produce insulin, are being attacked. The most common is Type 2 diabetes and a person can develop this at any stage of their life. It is associated with obesity, as the high blood sugars stem from a diet that is rich is sugar. Symptoms of these are as follows;

  •  Frequent urination, especially at night
  •  Blurred vision
  •  Frequent thrush, usually accompanied by itching of the genital area
  •  Wounds healing slowly
  •  Tiredness/fatigue
  •  Loss of weight and muscle mass

Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy, as the body instinctively limits the breakdown caused by insulin, to encourage glucose to be used on the unborn baby for growth. Subsequently, the mother’s blood sugars increase. There are multiple tests available for diabetes during pregnancy, and where a mother is at risk, these tests should be taken. Failure to perform these tests can lead to a delay in diagnosis, and the complications of this includes;

  •  Stillbirth
  •  Premature birth
  •  Excessive amniotic fluid which is likely to cause early labour, or further complications
  •  Baby growing larger than expected, which can lead to shoulder dystocia (the baby becoming stuck in the birth canal.


    For further information on diabetes, see the following link: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Diabetes/

Public awareness is crucial in ensuring that people can recognise signs of diabetes, so that they can seek further support from their local GP’s. Failure to diagnose diabetes, or failure to properly manage diabetes can also lead to serious complications such as:

  •  Damage to the nervous system
  •  Damage to the brain
  •  Problems with vision and potential blindness
  •  Damage to the vascular system and break down in healthy tissue
  •  Limb amputation
  •  Heart disease
  •  Death

The Clinical Negligence team at Freeths Solicitors have experience of dealing with cases involving delay in diagnosis and incorrect treatment of diabetes of all types. If you believe that yourself, or a loved one, have experienced an injury as a result owe may be able to assist you.

Please contact someone in our team for a free, informal discussion:-

Carolyn Lowe, Partner (Oxford/Milton Keynes) on 0186 578 1019 carolyn.lowe@freeths.co.uk 

Karen Reynolds, Partner (Derby/Stoke on Trent/Birmingham) on 0845 274 6830 karen.reynolds@freeths.co.uk 

Jane Williams, Partner (Leicester/Nottingham) on 0845 272 5724 jane.williams@freeths.co.uk