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I raise the subject of AVMA (Action for Victims of Medical Accidents) for
I believe that at present doctors/consultants may appear against the pump,
while they are only uncertain of it because they are scared of what could
happen if something went wrong. They do not want to have to appear in
court, due to 'prescribing' a pump. Please note that I am not suggesting
that would happen, but it is easier for a doctor to refuse the use of a
pump than not, just due to fear. This may a partial reason why pump use is
spreading so slowly in the UK.
On the other hand if it were possible to prove that something (bad) that
has happened to a diabetic would not have happened if (s)he had been using
a pump, the tables would be exactly turned and the mention of AVMA could be
used to force a doctor into prescribing a pump, due to fear. The doctor
could free himself of responsibility by stating that he advised against the
pump and only agreed to its use due to the patient's wishes. The problem is
that a case needs to be made in court illustrating what good the pump can
do. While some trials have indicated this it is not legally accepted.
I note something that happened in the recent past, which under different
circumstances could have been used against pumps. Before Christmas I
suffered a hypo at about 4 in the morning, I believe the hypo induced a
nightmare (which I have never had in my life before). I ended up getting
out of bed and smashing a double-glazed window (all while asleep), the cold
air made me semi-conscious and the police turned up. My bg was about 1, and
I took glucose. Had it not been for the Georgian bars I might have gone
through the window. I could
not think what might have caused this situation and did not dream of the
pump being at fault. Although nothing even similar had happened in 40 years
of diabetes. But when I contacted the manufacturers (to order some new
batteries) the next day, they asked 'was the pump at fault', within 12
hours the pump displayed an 'electronic fault' . I restarted it again but
it suggested that it may have given me an erroneous dose (??). If the same
situation happened soon after first using the pump and I had gone through
the window there would be case to use against the doctor.
The problem being that pumps are mechanical machines all of which can go
wrong. I believe that if doctors have a method which usually works they are
very conservative and do not like trying anything else.
But if we can the AVMA is there to help (non-action by a doctor is
considered in the same terms as doing something wrong).
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