We’ve all heard how lack of knowledge and awareness can kill or seriously harm a person and you’d have thought people would be starting to get the message, right? Wrong. This week, we have another horrendous tale where total lack of awareness has caused a four-year-old girl to fall in to a diabetic coma.

A few short hours before her collapse, Codylily Parkin had been taken to a local NHS walk-in centre in Rotherham after she began to experience breathing difficulties, an insatiable thirst and whitening of her tongue. A few days prior to this, she had been diagnosed by her GP with vaginal thrush. The medics at the walk-in centre then diagnosed Codylily with oral thrush and sent her back home. Surely alarm bells should have been ringing when a young child starts to experience the most obvious and visible symptoms of diabetes!

The same day that she had been diagnosed with oral thrush, Codylily became very confused and began vomiting. It was only then that her parents decided to dial for an emergency paramedic. As soon as the paramedic arrived, he could tell that Codylily was slipping in to a diabetic coma and was rushed to hospital with severe diabetic ketoacidosis. Once at the hospital, she was placed in an induced coma before they transferred her to Sheffield Children’s Hospital. Thankfully, the young girl was able to go home on 2oth September but now faces a lifetime of insulin dependence.

This isn’t the first time this same walk-in clinic has made a dire mistake; in May they failed to refer Lewis Mullins for further care after he was diagnosed with chicken pox. He later died from related complications. They also failed to diagnose Mark Mason, 36 with swine flu after he complained that he had been unable to drink for a week, had diarrhoea, could not walk unaided and was unable to breathe. He was not referred to hospital and died soon after.

It’s clear that diabetes awareness is not at the level it should be. Do what you can to help yourself – wear some kind of diabetic identification. Having a hypoglycemic attack may render you unable to speak coherently. Don’t leave it to chance, let your diabetes ID speak for you when you can’t speak for yourself. Click the image below to find out more about diabetes ID.

Read more about diabetic ketoacidosis here: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes-complications/diabetic-ketoacidosis.html

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