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Diabetes often goes undetected prior to hospital admission

Diabetes is a common disease among residents of New York and across the country. Calculations from the American Diabetes Association indicated that 20 percent of health care dollars go toward treating this single disease. Despite its prevalence, many people might not obtain a diagnosis until they enter a hospital as an inpatient.

The results of a study of medical records showed that among hyperglycemia inpatients with no known history of diabetes who were given a HbA1C test, 77 percent of them had a result that indicated diabetes. The patients had been admitted to a rural Midwestern teaching hospital.

A physician commenting on the study said that the medical community was missing chances to diagnose this chronic disease. Detecting diabetes early could allow for better management of it. One way to increase the rate of diagnosis would be to have hospitals always give the HbA1C test when high blood sugar is detected in a patient.

A failure to diagnose diabetes or other serious conditions like cancer might be deemed medical malpractice. A physician or other health care provider who does not exhibit the requisite standard of care might be held financially accountable by a patient who has been harmed because of a worsened condition or lack of treatment. Not every failure to diagnose a medical condition constituted medical malpractice, however, and an attorney representing a plaintiff in such an accident will need to demonstrate the lack of required care through a review of the patient's electronic health care records as well as from the opinions of medical experts. If successful, a lawsuit could result in compensation for medical expenses and other losses.

Source: Science Daily, "Blood Test Uncovers Undiagnosed Diabetes in Hospital Patients With High Blood Sugar", May 23, 2016

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