Elderly man who had hypo while driving guided to safety following intervention from motorist

Jack Woodfield
Mon, 11 Feb 2019
Elderly man who had hypo while driving guided to safety following intervention from motorist
A man with diabetes who experienced low blood glucose while driving has fully recovered following the intervention of a concerned motorist.

Toby French, 29, from Somerset, called 999 when he saw a man swerving erratically on the A38 in Bridgwater. He then followed the motorist and pulled him over to safety.

Mr French thought the driver was drunk after watching him drive up kerbs and "randomly stopping and pulling away".

He then saw a "small older lady" passenger and a mobility scooter in the car, and asserted that the driver may be elderly and experiencing a medical complication.

Mr French told the BBC: "I made the call handler aware it was an elderly person and I was going to force them to stop, knowing the risks involved.

"When it was safe I pulled round him and we stopped. I got out telling him loud and clear to stay where he was, opening his door and removing the key."

Mr French said the man's wife told him her husband had diabetes (it is not known which type) and was experiencing hypoglycemia, or low blood glucose. He then waited with the couple for the police and an ambulance to arrive.

In this instance, the intervention of Mr French likely prevented an accident occurring and highlights the importance of people with diabetes testing blood glucose levels before getting behind the wheel, and also having good hypo awareness.

The DVLA's guidelines about driving and diabetes say that those who rely on insulin should check their blood glucose levels before driving and every couple of hours during a long journey. If you have poor hypo awareness, you should inform the DVLA as this will affect your ability to drive safely.

People with diabetes who are susceptible to hypoglycemia should ensure their blood glucose is not below 5.0 mmol/L before driving. If blood glucose is lower than 4.0 mmol/L then the hypo should be treated and you shouldn't drive until 45 minutes after your levels rise above 5.0 mmol/L.

Visit our new Hypo Program for more information on driving and diabetes as well as treating hypos and understanding more about hypo awareness.
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