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Abbott wrongful death lawsuit

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by BrendaK, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

    Sep 23, 2007
    With all due respect, Meg, the legal action here is probably at the root of some of the comments.

    I know that mine, the one regarding "listening" to one's body was in regard to the fact that we all know that test strips are fallible and "listening" to how you feel can help you catch a situation where the test strip is telling you one thing and your body telling you something entirely different.
  2. mmgirls

    mmgirls Approved members

    Nov 28, 2008
    Sarah, I tell my girls all the time to listen to their body, but unfortunately my oldest feels lows but "nothing with highs" and my youngest nothing with lows and 'pees like a race horse" with highs. I wish all our kids had the capability to catch when the meter says one thing and the body is saying something else. And as a mom that has had younge children DX, so many decisions need to be made with just a pure number.

    There need to be a better way, and hope that there will be one before my kids leave my home for good.
  3. Ali

    Ali Approved members

    Aug 1, 2006
    I believe this could happen, and I say could, if you were ill and without someone to supervise. What is hard to understand is that every test strip would test that low when you were hitting over 600. Also that your Dr would not say get to the ER. Communication somewhere did not happen. I am from a generation of no test strips, if I was so ill, and you get that way with high BG levels, I headed to the ER. So I am not blaming the poor girl. I also was young and on my own, when I got very ill at college with no test strips, but when I felt that bad I went to the clinic. Maybe the new generation of T1s need to be educated on reaching out to the ER or Docs if feeling ill?? And not relying on tech.
  4. andiej

    andiej Approved members

    Dec 30, 2013
    Can't get my head round this at all, also wondering allowed Ketones can also develop when blood sugars are not elevated.
  5. wilf

    wilf Approved members

    Aug 27, 2007
    It is a tragedy plain and simple. I offer my condolences to the young woman's family and friends.

    Diabetes is a harsh condition, which we can normally do a pretty good job of managing with all of the tools and technology we now have at our disposal. But sometimes things go off the rails, some aspect of our technology fails, and it can get very dangerous very fast.

    The key as others have said is to listen to what your body is telling you, make sure you have backups in case one or more of your D management tools seems not to be working properly, and seek help quickly if it seems like something is not quite right.
  6. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

    Sep 23, 2007
    When something tragic and terrifying happens to a member of our "community" we may, as has been noted in previous posts, look to rationalize how that couldn't happen to us or to our kid. I think that's perfectly normal. But it's always speculative because we never really know enough about the death. And because it's speculative, it's not particularly helpful to anyone. In this case, by virtue of the lawsuit, we at least know that the family blames the test strips. In this case, because we know this, I think it's completely reasonable that we look and see, "can we learn anything from this tragedy?" "Is there anything we can do differently to prevent this awful outcome?" Doing so isn't blaming the victim, doing so is just a reasonable, thoughtful response.

    If you learned that the speedometer of the model car you were driving had been found to be faulty and had caused people to die because they thought they were going 55mph when in fact they were going 90 mph wouldn't you take measures to test your speedometer? Replace your speedometer? Bear in mind as you drive that your speedometer cannot be fully trusted? I think you would and in doing so I don't think you'd be blaming those who died because they didn't have prior knowledge of the defect, you'd probably just be glad that you learned of it before you or your child were hurt or killed by the faulty equipment.
  7. sszyszkiewicz

    sszyszkiewicz Approved members

    Dec 24, 2013
    Tech fails. Alot. We depend on tech.

    Like i said earlier, between the control solution (yes we test every new vial of strips) and the Dexcom we have found 1 bad meter and at least three bad vials of strips.
  8. shannong

    shannong Approved members

    Sep 15, 2012
    That's a good idea. I never test with control solution. I think I may start doing that.
  9. Megnyc

    Megnyc Approved members

    Nov 8, 2012
    I don't really have much more to say on this topic. My two posts in this thread sum up my thoughts on this reasonably well. I do think we can learn from this but I don't think all of the responses in this thread were about learning but rather about rationalizing how this would never happen to them/their child and patting themselves on the back.

    What we know here is that a 23 year old woman died as a consequence of high blood sugars after obtaining low blood glucose measurements on her meter. She was using strips that were then recalled several days later due to showing false low BGs in the specific meter that she was using. Abbott was informed multiple times by multiple people in the year leading up to the recall that the strips were reading falsely low but did nothing (that we know of). In this situation, in my opinion the degree of questioning of her situation and her level of diabetes education was not appropriate. That combined with the general comments about what measures people take to prevent this was what gave me the impression that like most diabetes deaths, the general diabetes "community" was again making a bunch of excuses about how it could not happen to them/their child. I don't think anyone is intentionally blaming the "victim" here but I am personally uncomfortable with what looks to me like a lack of empathy for a family that lost their daughter.

    Sarah, I know I quoted you here but this response is more to everyone than to just you. I'm not trying to specifically pick out your comments.
  10. Melissata

    Melissata Approved members

    Feb 19, 2009
    Wondering whether she may have had a bad site, and wasn't getting any insulin through the pod. Very glad to have said goodbye to Freestyle strips.
  11. funnygrl

    funnygrl Approved members

    Nov 2, 2005
    I thought that the faulty strips were reading maybe 50-100 low, not 400-500 below actual numbers. Were they actually reading that far off?
  12. nanhsot

    nanhsot Approved members

    Feb 20, 2010
    As the mom of a college student, this is heartbreaking. I know it's easy to think "this wouldn't happen to me/my child" but until you have a kid in college that you see sporadically and have no way of knowing how they are managing day to day, don't judge. It's scary. Mid terms, college stress, late nights, parties, horrible food choices...these are a normal part of a college students day and I think it's fairly typical to do minimal management in these years. I hope and pray my kid is managing well but truth is I'm not there and only see him every so often. I no longer have access to his medical records. He's an adult now, as was this girl. So it's easy to judge when you are the one managing every detail of your child's health, but the day comes when that's no longer true. We should be able to trust technology to some degree. Education to our kids is important, knowing their bodies, etc. but at the end of the day, the strips were faulty, and the company knew that.

    I am not a legal "sue everyone" type, quite the opposite actually, and suing Walgreen's seems a stretch, but Abbott needs to be held responsible for ignoring customer reports. How did the girl die? There is much missing from the article, and it doesn't seem apparent that low BG reading would cause DKA in a few days without other symptoms. I think there is much more to this story but this family deserves some privacy. My son feels his ketones and highs/lows keenly, that's not true for everyone. It's possible that instead of highs she had a significant low and the reporting is off in the article. Who knows and frankly who cares. Her technology failed her, that much is true. I can totally see how a college student might rely on few BG checks and ignore some warning signs.

    If I had to guess, I'd bet this lawsuit is more about shining light on a problem (technology should not be this sketchy in this day and age) and less about the financials.

    Don't throw rocks in glass houses. This is scary and horrible and hits too close to home for me. My heart goes out to this family.
  13. jenm999

    jenm999 Approved members

    Apr 30, 2014
    Beautifully put, Nancy.
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Approved members

    Nov 20, 2007
    Danielle still has a few years before college but I already am worried about some of the things you mentioned.

    However, I looked through this whole thread again and I don't see where anyone is judging or throwing rocks. Not a big deal, but it just isn't there.
  15. Snowflake

    Snowflake Approved members

    Dec 1, 2013
    I agree.

    Abbott and Walgreens are on trial here, not the PWD. The question is whether the faulty strips were faulty enough to cause this devastating outcome; at this very early stage in the litigation, I think that's going to be a heavy lift to prove. It was the plaintiff's lawyers that put this in the public eye with a press release, so I think it's fair to ask how sound their case is.

    At the same time, I do agree with a lot of the comments about the knee-jerk psychological tendency for us parents to rationalize that it couldn't happen to our child because of this or that. There are just too dang many variables in T1 management, and in T1 individuals, for an outsider to second guess or make assumptions based on a few paragraphs in the newspaper.
  16. DavidN

    DavidN Approved members

    Sep 7, 2012
    A couple/few posts were removed. Not a big deal. Let's move along.
  17. BarbDwyer

    BarbDwyer Approved members

    Jul 8, 2014
    People rationalize because it is a way to cope with the fear that it could be them. In general people would like to believe that they could do something to prevent such a terrible fate. I'd like to think I was smarter and would figure out that the strips were bad, know I should have went to the clinic a day earlier, better planned that bolus, counted accurately, whatever, because if I can out-smart it I'm safe (or my son would be safe). But sometimes terrible things happen to very smart people. Just like T1D happened in the first place.

    IMO, if the strips were bad, and the company new the strips were bad but did nothing, they should be held accountable - even if she made a dozen bad decisions in hindsight - even if it wouldn't have changed her outcome.
  18. joan

    joan Approved members

    Aug 31, 2009
    Nanhsot, I cannot agree with you more. College is scary but put faulty strips in the mix and it can be deadly.

    I don't have diabetes, my son does so I don't know if the decisions he is making when his blood sugar is either too high or too low are the same ones he would make when his blood sugar is in the normal range. Also at about $1.00/strip I think we all expect some accountability with the accuracy of the strips.

    My sincere condolences to the family of this beautiful woman.
  19. caspi

    caspi Approved members

    Oct 11, 2006
    Well said. It's very possible the high BG affected her reasoning.
  20. Lee

    Lee Approved members

    Oct 5, 2006
    I know for a fact that DKA can happen FAST when #'s have been running higher. I am having difficulty with my teen for about the last year - complete and total diabetes rebellion - but she has had DKA twice in the last 6 months. One was simply forgetting Lantus one night while sick. She was in the hospital for a week with DKA which lead to pancreatitis. The second DKA was also a missed Lantus dose. She takes Lantus at 9pm. I brought her to the ER at 7am and she was in DKA.

    My point is that these things do happen. And it can be quick. Yes - if my teenager were taking better care of herself, the DKA would have held off longer. But this poor woman was getting inaccurate readings. She had days of unknowingly running higher. It IS the test strip's fault entirely in this case.

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