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Is a failure to diagnose putting Maryland residents at risk?

Type I diabetes is reportedly a commonly misdiagnosed illness in Maryland and elsewhere. Unfortunately, any failure to diagnose can result in life-changing consequences - including death. Because type I diabetes does not discriminate based on age, some stories of misdiagnosis prove all the more heart wrenching.

A 4-year-old girl who was suffering from flu symptoms grew increasingly ill until she fell into a coma. Despite her mother's medical background, by the time she was diagnosed it was too late. The little girl died about one month prior to her fifth birthday. Sadly, her case is only one of many instances of misdiagnosed type I diabetes.

A spokesperson for the JDRF asserts that the public at large suffers from a vast under awareness of type I diabetes. Additionally, he believes the medical community is also largely unaware. Tragically, type I diabetes is also misdiagnosed in hospitals and emergency rooms.

Parents are encouraged to educate themselves on the symptoms of type I diabetes. In fact, it is possible that an increase in parental awareness can be lifesaving for a child who might be suffering from the illness. Some of the signs include increased thirst, extreme fatigue, a fruity odor to the breath, frequent urination, increased appetite and heavy or labored breathing among others.

Should a failure to diagnose occur, parents in Maryland do have options. Medical negligence and misdiagnosis can result in disability and even death. While compensation cannot replace a life, monetary recompense for misdiagnosis can help offset medical costs, funeral costs and may offer peace of mind through punitive means.

Source: Health24.com, "Type 1 diabetes often misdiagnosed," June 20, 2013

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