***UPDATE, 26 September 2016: The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service has given Dr Michelle Watts a five-year warning for “serious” failings in the treatment of Claire Taylor. The findings of the tribunal into the teenager’s death found that Dr Watts “failed to stand back and take account of the wider picture” during consultations with Ms Taylor. The warning will be published on the List of Registered Medical Practitioners (LRMP), and kept on record thereafter.
The family of a Scottish teenage girl who died from undiagnosed type 1 diabetes has launched legal proceedings over an alleged misdiagnosis.
Claire Taylor, from Kirriemuir, was 17 when she died in November 2012 following a two-week period in which she appeared to be suffering from a viral infection.
Claire was being cared for at home when her condition deteriorated one night. Her parents called for paramedics, but despite their best attempts, Claire could not be saved.
It was subsequently discovered that Claire had died from undiagnosed type 1 diabetes. Her parents have since launched legal proceedings in the Court of Session against Kirriemuir Health Centre.
Since Claire’s death, the Taylor family have sought to raise awareness of type 1 diabetes and funding for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Forum (JDRF). One particular event was a sell-out Kirriemuir dinner.
This tragic story is the latest example of how dangerous undiagnosed type 1 diabetes can be. Earlier this year, five-year-old Kycie Terry died from undiagnosed type 1 diabetes – upon first seeing a doctor, she was diagnosed with strep throat.
It is vital that awareness is raised about the symptoms of type 1 diabetes so that parents (type 1 diabetes is often diagnosed in youngsters) and others are aware of what warning signs to look out for.
The 4T’s of type 1 diabetes: Toilet, Thirsty, Tired and Thinner – are the major symptoms exhibited when somebody may have undiagnosed diabetes. Without urgent treatment, these symptoms can lead to a dangerous short-term complication called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Roughly one in four people that are diagnosed with type 1 are suffering from DKA at the time.
Following Kycie’s death, a petition was launched which called for the symptoms of type 1 diabetes to be included in the Personal Health Child Record given to new parents. The petition is open until 27 January 2016. It currently has 8,756 signatures but requires 10,000 to ensure a response from the government.
After it emerged that Claire’s parents were launching court action, a spokeswoman for NHS Tayside said: “We do not comment on matters relating to individual members of staff.”