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RE: [IPk] Pumping in Hospital
HI Susan -
There's no 'perhaps' about it - you need to complain, and to the very
highest levels. Complain to the consultant, the hospital, the health
authority, you MP, the Minister for Health, and diabetes organisations. This
is easy to do with one letter: write the one letter and at the bottom type
cc: and the list of all the different people and organisations you're
copying it to. You don't even have to include a cover letter with the copy;
just highlight the new recipient's name in the cc: list. Contact John Davis
as well about whether they can write a letter expressing concern and
explaining the use of the pump to all at the hospital. And make sure in your
cc: list you include the name and practise name of your solicitor.
The hospital you attended subjected you to iatrogrenic illness
(doctor-induced illness). This could be avoided with proper education and
practise on their part. By not engaging in this, and by ignoring your
better-educated information, they have engaged in malpractice. You may not
want or need to bring a case, but they have engaged in malpractice. I think
it can be rectified with the letter writing campaign and you shouldn't need
to use the m word. But we put up with this life- and health-endangering
behaviour, and we should not.
What should you do in the future? Well, I think anyone who controls their
own diabetes, whether by pump or injections, should insist on maintaining
that control when they are in hospital. I would never surrender my pump or
my insulin to medical staff. If they confiscated insulin from me, I would
have my partner bring it in to me for injections or reservoir fills or
whatever, and then take it home again. I would also ensure that my diabetes
team were notified that I was in hospital, even if it were a different
hospital, and I would insist that the people caring for me in the ward
liaise regularly with the diabetes staff.
If you are having surgery with general anaesthetic, you should be
accompanied into the operating room by a medicial person who is competent in
the management of diabetes and who understands the actions times of insulin.
If at all possible, you or your representative (in emergency situations)
should insist on this.
In the book _Diabetes Solution_, there is a model letter for sending to
hospitals before you're admitted. It explains what insulin regime you are on
and that you will retain complete control of your insulin while you are
conscious, and what they should do when you can't. It does, of course, imply
that there will be legal action if the hospital does not comply with the
person's wishes. We are not quite a litigous on this side of the water, but
a few well placed and well publicised law suits would make them clean up
their acts very quickly. So perhaps its time someone did protest through the
I think it is very important as well that everyone have a partner, friend or
family member who can act and advocate for them when they are not able to.
This begins with, at a minimum, knowing where the glucagon is and how to use
it, moves on to keeping a chart of the insulin regime, carb ratio, and
sliding scale handy, and knowing how to use it. Then, knowing how much
insulin to use to reduce a high blood sugar. And finally, being able to
educate medical staff on the fly, test, respond and protect the injured
diabetic when they're lying unconscious in casualty surrounded by ignorant
gits masquerading as experts.
I know I often sound a bit extreme and paranoid, but Susan's horrible
situation demonstrates that I'm not!
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