So I recently came across a video from February 2012 where an innocent driver was brutally pulled out of his car and assaulted after officers assumed he was driving under the influence of alcohol. This just goes to show that awareness of diabetes and the symptoms of hypo/hyperglycemia are not as widely known as they really should be.
As you can see in the video above, the victim was assaulted by several police officers, one of whom can clearly be seen kicking at the man’s head as he lies on the floor disoriented and many others verbally abusing him. Toward the end of the video, however, the police officers realise they have made a dire mistake when they discover insulin in the victim’s pocket. “Tell them to expedite. He’s semi-conscious” remarks one of the officers to the others.
The man was awarded a $158,000 settlement as well as a $99,000 settlement to his wife and a further $35,000 from the state of Nevada for civil rights violations.
The police department issued a statement noting changes they have made since the incident claiming they have ordered a closer look at the training their officers receive.
This footage serves as a poignant reminder of the real lack of awareness that most people have when it comes to diabetes and just how dangerous that lack of awareness can potentially be. Everyone should know when and how to treat a hypo.
So how are we meant to tell if someone is having a hypo or is just drunk? Admittedly, it’s very difficult as the symptoms are virtually exactly the same: confusion, disorientation, loss of balance, aggression and even fainting. More and more people with diabetes are resorting to getting tattoos in places that are easily visible in a crisis and will end up with them getting the help they need. Tattoos aren’t for everyone though, and a wristband or card could be a real lifesaver in event of a hypo/hyperglycemic attack.