Diabetes patients unaware of risks

A significant number of patients with diabetes are not receiving appropriate checks and appropriate advice about the risks diabetes poses to their limbs, particularly their feet, which could be putting them at increased risk of amputation, according to research carried out by Diabetes UK.

Recent news stories have highlighted that the number of diabetics in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset who have had amputations due to their condition is too high.

Between 2010 and 2013 across Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset, 1,562 operations were performed to remove limbs due to complications associated with diabetes, and a third of these were classed as major amputations; above the ankle.

However, it is believed that 80 per cent of these amputations were avoidable if proper care had been provided to patients to prevent complications. A recent survey revealed that almost a third of those people questioned (32 per cent) said they had not been informed about their level of risk of foot problems at the annual foot check. The same proportion said they were not given advice about foot

care, and almost one in five people (18 per cent) said they did not have their feet checked for corns, calluses and changes in shape.

In recent years, Wolferstans has seen an increase in claims relating to poor diabetic care, resulting in significant injuries. One client recently contacted Wolferstans, after having to undergo an amputation of his left leg following a fall. Investigations showed that the hospital had failed to adequately monitor his wound, despite him suffering from poorly-controlled diabetes, which lead to the development of infected ulcers and the need for an amputation.

Wolferstans successfully recovered more than £100,000 in damages. Other cases the solicitors are currently investigating  involve a client who had to undergo a more major amputation as a result of poor care, and many cases relate to patients with diabetes who have sustained pressure ulcers (bed sores) whilst in hospital due to a failure of the medical and nursing staff to appreciate the increased risks associated with patients with diabetes.

An amputation is a serious and often life-changing experience, and Wolferstans’ team of specialist lawyers fully understand the difficulties associated with adjusting to life without a limb or extremity, and that it may mean relearning how to perform day-today tasks.

These specialists understand that bringing a clinical negligence claim is not just about compensation; it’s about obtaining the practical support you need after your injury, giving you the best possible chance of living an active, able and fulfilling life. Wolferstans has had a separate clinical negligence department for more than 20 years, with members spending all their time exclusively investigating medical claims. This experience means that the success rate is very high; more than 90 per cent of the cases which are investigated and then pursued result in a payment of damages to a client.

If you have a claim you would like to discuss, or are unhappy with your existing solicitors and would like to have a free initial discussion-without any obligation, please contact Ann Ball by calling 01752 292374 or emailing aball@wolferstans.com.

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