When most people hear of a misdiagnosed condition, they think of cancer or heart attacks–something that could easily cause death through negligence. The truth is, a misdiagnosis of diabetes is just as common and even more likely to cause death in young patients.
In a recent tragic case, four year-old Addie Parker exhibited signs of the flu. Although she didn’t have a fever, she was throwing up every hour, unable to get up off the bathroom floor from extreme dizziness. Her parents rushed her to the hospital, where Addie suffered a brain hemorrhage, lapsed into a coma, and died just a few weeks shy of her fifth birthday.
Unfortunately, these stories are shockingly prevalent in U.S. hospitals. Although doctors are aware that type 1 diabetes exists, they routinely fail to identify the symptoms in young children, leading to misdiagnosis and untreated cases that often prove fatal.
The Warning Signs
As doctors may not think to check young patients for this potentially fatal disease, it is up to parents to protect their children from undiagnosed cases of diabetes. All parents should be aware of the signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes, including:
- Increased or persistent thirst
- Sudden increase in appetite
- Fruity odor on your child’s breath
- Heavy or labored breathing
- Frequent urination
- Sudden wetting of the bed at night (especially if the child has previously had good bladder control)
- Unexplained or unintended weight loss
- Extreme fatigue
- Stumbling or squinting in your child that could indicate blurry vision
- Unusual irritability or short-temperedness
While it is your duty to safeguard your child from harm, it is your doctor’s responsibility to identify any potential health hazards before they cause injury to your child–including correctly diagnosing diabetes.
If your child was injured or died as a result of misdiagnosis, the trusted Louisville medical malpractice attorneys at Gray and White can advise you of your legal options at no cost to you. Call Gray and White today at 800.634.8767 or fill out the contact form on the top of this page to start your FREE case evaluation.