A diabetes sufferer has revealed how he feared for his life after he was denied paramedic assistance at his home.
Kevin Browne, 43, has lived with type 1 diabetes for the past 15 years but at times he has struggled to keep his condition under control.
The insulin-dependant diabetic has suffered a number of scares over the years, but last week he was left fearing the worst after he nearly falling into a potentially fatal diabetic coma at his Somerset home.
He said: “I had been sick for three to four hours and was, literally, lying on the bathroom floor. I could feel myself slipping closer and closer into unconsciousness.”
Mr Browne made an emergency call for help in the middle of the night. However, he was left fearing the worst after being told by the 999-call operator that he didn’t think an ambulance was necessary.
He said: “I could hardly speak and kept being sick but he just kept asking lots of questions. In the end I was screaming down the phone ‘get me an ambulance please, please, please’.
“I was frightened for my life. I could feel it getting worse. I knew it would take 20 minutes or so to get an ambulance to me and I’d already wasted about 15 minutes on the phone call. He was completely ignoring what I was saying. I knew I only had minutes left.”
After being told an ambulance would not be coming, Mr Browne slammed down the phone and immediately dialled 999 again. He explained his situation as best he could to the second operator and a paramedic was finally sent out to his home.
Mr Browne, who lives alone, said he was taken by ambulance to Bath RUH where he was treated for three days. It was in hospital were he made his original complaint.
He continued: “What if this had happened to an elderly patient with diabetes, or someone who didn’t realise how severe it was getting? It would have been fatal. That is why, in hindsight, I’m so disappointed with the reaction from the operator.
“But if any other diabetic patient finds themselves in the same position do the same as I did, put down the telephone and ring again. Don’t give up hope.”
An investigation into the incident is now underway.
Very low blood sugar levels can cause severe hypoglycemia and very high blood sugars can lead to a condition called ketoacidosis. Both of these events increase the risk of people with type 1 diabetes slipping into a coma .

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