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February 28, 2011

Sad Case of Hypoglycemia

The dangers are all too real:

A NORTH-WEST man died within hours of being discharged from the North West Regional Hospital in what a coroner has labelled a "regrettable misjudgment".

The diabetic man, known as Mr H, was taken to the emergency department of the North West Regional Hospital in Burnie suffering a low blood-sugar level about 5.30pm on January 10, 2009.

An investigation by Coroner Rod Chandler found the 46-year-old was discharged at 7pm and died at home about 1.45am the next day.

"In these circumstances the decision to permit Mr H to go home about 7pm on 10 January, 2009, was a regrettable misjudgment," he said.

"Had he remained in hospital for a longer period and been subject to close monitoring and to more intensive investigations then it is likely in my view that the seriousness of his condition would have become evident and life-saving treatment put in place.

"These matters give rise to the question whether the decision to permit Mr H to go home without further monitoring and/or investigation was, in all the circumstances, a reasonable one."

Health authorities implemented new procedures after the man's death.

The man, a self-employed electrical technician, weighed 150kg and was taken by ambulance to the hospital with a very low blood sugar level of 1.5 millimoles per litre.

For those in the United States, the man weight 330lbs and his glucose was measured below 25 mg/dL.

Posted by Diabetologica at February 28, 2011 2:32 AM


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