A mother, who lost her son because his type 1 diabetes went undiagnosed, says she feels “overwhelmed” after a leading body has taken notice of her routine screening campaign.
Beth Baldwi, from Cardiff, started a petition urging the Welsh Government to take action following the death of her 13-year-old so, Peter. He passed away in 2015 from diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) after his doctor failed to diagnose his type 1 diabetes.
Beth wants doctors to be more aware of the signs of diabetes. A report carried out by the Petitions Committee has backed her, stating GPs should inquire whether any of the 4 T symptoms are present if any child or young person is unwell.
The 4 Ts can highlight a risk of type 1 diabetes. The 4 Ts stand for toilet, thirsty, tired and thinner. Frequently needing the toilet, being unusually thirsty and/or tired, and looking thinner than usual can indicate a risk that type 1 diabetes may be present.
The other key measure requested has been for appropriate diagnostic testing to be carried out on children when symptoms of type 1 diabetes are present. Appropriate testing may include carrying out finger-prick blood glucose tests.
David Rowlands, chair of the committee, said: “It goes without saying that the loss of a child is, thankfully, largely unimaginable for most people and the tremendous courage of Peter’s family in seeking to use such awful circumstances to prevent the same situation happening to others should command enormous respect.
“The Baldwin family, particularly Beth, Stuart and Lia, have courageously strived to ensure that the tragedy experienced by their family should lead to improvements in awareness and identification of type 1 diabetes in children.
“Prompt diagnosis is critical as the onset of the illness can be extremely rapid and very dangerous. We fully support the petition and are calling on the Welsh Government to do more to raise awareness of the dangers of type 1 diabetes and how to spot it throughout the NHS.”
The report has also suggested that NICE diabetes guidance should be “consistently implemented” into NHS Wales.
Speaking to the BBC, Beth Baldwi, from Cardiff, said: “They’ve really listened to us. Wales really can lead the way on this.”
She said the report had “exceeded all expectations” and she had been “overwhelmed” by the support she had received.
Death from type 1 diabetes is preventable and it is great to see that a strong focus is being brought to this very important issue.

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