Recent news revealing that hundreds of diabetics had missed out on follow up eye tests in the Lancashire and Cumbria region has been an eye opener to the risks faced in these circumstances.
The patients concerned had not been offered the necessary follow up eye tests after being diagnosed with diabetes as a result of failings within the NHS.
Patients with type 1 and 2 diabetes are particularly vulnerable to developing diabetic retinopathy which occurs if blood sugar levels get too high damaging cells at the back of the eye. If there are delays in spotting the symptoms, and delays in providing the correct treatment, this can lead to blindness.
Diabetic retinopathy accounts for seven per cent of those registered as blind in England and Wales according to Diabetics UK. Its 2015 Diabetes: Facts and Stats report reveals that within 20 years of diagnosis, nearly all type 1 diabetics and almost 60 per cent of type 2 diabetics have some degree of retinopathy.
The report also identifies that diabetics also have a 50 percent increased risk of developing glaucoma and are up to three times more likely to develop cataracts, both conditions sadly lead to blindness if not diagnosed and treated in a timely fashion.
The danger of diabetic retinopathy is that it doesn’t present any noticeable symptoms until it has reached advanced stages. The NHS advises that these symptoms may include:
• Shapes or floaters in your vision
• Blurred vision
• Sudden vision loss
It is important for diabetics to be proactive if any changes to their vision is noticed and not to delay seeking medical advice until a screening appointment can take place. Early action and treatment can result in the prevention of the disease while a delay in treatment can sadly mean the sudden loss of sight in some circumstances.
If you, or someone you know, have suffered visual impairment due to medical negligence, you may have a claim for compensation. Linder Myers Solicitors has one of the largest and most experienced team of specialist clinical and medical negligence lawyers in England and Wales. Our team of experts are readily available to listen to and discuss incidents of negligence affecting diabetics.
If you, or someone you know, have been injured due to negligence by a medical professional, including hospital staff, GPs or pharmacists, contact a member of our team on 0800 085 3295.
Alternatively, please email a summary of your potential claim and contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about our Medical Negligence department Download our step by step guide to pursuing a medical negligence claim guide