Medical clinic settles with diabetic patient in auto injury for $400,000
A diabetic patient claiming that he became hypoglycemic and disorientated after a fasting blood test, which led to a car accident, reached a $400,000 settlement of his medical malpractice case against the clinic that administered the blood test. Many primary care facilities offer this type of fasting blood sugar test for their diabetic patients. The dangers of fasting blood sugar are well known for diabetic especially when using long acting insulin. The blood sugars can drop very quickly in the morning especially when first rising from bed. Primary care facilities and family practice clinics throughout mid-Missouri, Boone County, and Columbia should be well acquainted with these dangers as a result of this case. According to the plaintiff’s medical records, the blood test results were ready at 8:24 a.m. At that time, the results indicated that his blood sugar was at a “panic level” below 50 mg/dl when he was allowed to leave the office. Ideal blood sugar levels are kept between 80 and 100 mg/dl. The plaintiff then left the clinic in a “hypoglycemic unawareness” state. That is, the plaintiff became so disoriented that he was unaware that he was impaired from the low blood sugar levels. Hypoglycemic unawareness is a fairly common condition and highlights the importance for diabetics to wear the diabetic identification bands that are very common. The clinic argued that the only explanation for the plaintiff’s quick drop in blood sugar on the morning of the test must have been that he had taken his morning insulin in disregard of the doctor’s orders. The clinic also pointed out that the plaintiff had a history of poorly controlled diabetes as a result of inattention to doctor’s orders and lack of proper testing and diet. The parties ultimately settled in mediation approximately a month before trial.