Teenager with type 1 diabetes died after GPs incorrect ear infection diagnosis

A teenager with type 1 diabetes who died after experiencing extremely high blood glucose levels had previously been sent home by her GP with an ear infection, an inquest has heard.
Rosie Umney, from Kent, died aged 15 having fallen seriously ill on 2 July 2018. She had been hyperventilating and was taken by her mother, Georgia, to see her GP, Dr Sadaf Mangi.
When Rosie tested her blood glucose on her own meter, her readings were normal. Dr Mangi ruled that Rosie had an ear infection and prescribed her medication. Rosie and her mum returned home.
Later that night, Rosie was still very unwell. She collapsed, and Georgia called for paramedics. One paramedic tested Rosie’s blood glucose on a separate meter and it was higher than 30 mmol/L.
Rosie was rushed to hospital, but tragically died later that night. A post-mortem found that she died of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a dangerous complication of overly high blood glucose levels.
Speaking at an inquest at Canterbury Magistrates’ Court on 6 February, Dr Mangi accepted she did not know the warning signs nor the action to implement regarding poorly children with type 1 diabetes.
“I would like to say to the family I deeply regret I fell short of my responsibilities as a GP. I whole-heartedly apologise,” Dr Mangi said.
Dr Peter Wilson, a GP clinical advisor with NHS England, told the inquest Dr Mangi’s notes failed to include Rosie’s respiratory rate or blood pressure. He added that Rosie would have had a “much better” chance of living had she been referred directly to hospital following the visit with Dr Mangi.
Stories such as Rosie’s are a devastating reminder of the need for greater awareness regarding the symptoms of undiagnosed diabetes, as well as the warning signs of children with existing diabetes.
Earlier this year, a man with type 1 diabetes died on holiday having had an incorrect diagnosis from his GP and not receiving a warning about how serious his condition was.
In 2016, Beth Baldwin called for the NHS to introduce routine testing for type 1 diabetes after the death of her 13-year-old son. Last year a report carried out by the Petitions Committee backed her petition.
The inquest into Rosie’s death has been adjourned until a later date.
Picture credit: Kent Live