NHS hospitals ‘unsafe’ for diabetics as quarter of a million experienced potentially life threatening errors last year, charity warns

Full story in The Independent, 7 October 2018

Diabetic patients in NHS hospitals are being put at risk of serious harm or death as a lack of specialist staff contributed to 260,000 medication errors last year, charities have warned.

Statistics released by Diabtes UK show emergency treatment was needed for 9,600 diabetic patients who fell into comas after their blood sugar fell to dangerously low levels, also known as a severe hypoglycaemic attack. There were 58,000 cases of severe hypoglycaemia reported in 2017 and the condition is usually caused by receiving too much insulin or insufficient carbohydrates from meals and snacks.

Meanwhile, 2,200 patients receiving too little insulin developed diabetic ketoacidosis, a life-threatening emergency where the body starts poisoning itself with the byproducts of the other bodily tissues it is using for energy.