June 7 roundup

by Walter Olson on June 7, 2011

{ 5 comments }

1 Timothy Watson 06.07.11 at 7:50 am

I saw the “diabetic coma” story and I just had to comment on it speaking as a type 1 diabetic. The story doesn’t specify what type of diabetes the plaintiff suffers from but it also impossible for someone to go into acute diabetic shock in the manner that she is alleging.

Diabetic shock, in most acute cases, is caused by low-blood sugar (hypoglycemia), not high-blood sugar (hyperglycemia). From what I can find online, diabetic shock in the manner she describes would require blood sugar levels in the 1800 mg/dl range according to one source online, over 18 times what is considered to be an “ideal” blood sugar level for a diabetic, and she would have been suffering from severe dehydration prior to the shock.

In addition, and I can’t speak for all diabetics, but I’ve been able to detect the difference in taste between artificial sweeteners and sugar since I was a kid. And I can’t imagine the amount of sugar that she would have to ingest to bring her blood-sugar levels up high enough to do into a hyperglycemia diabetic coma.

2 E-Bell 06.07.11 at 10:09 am

I am married to a type 1, Timothy, and your comment is 100% accurate, although my wife does have trouble distinguishing between sugar and artificial sweeteners by taste, so I am often employed as a taster.

There is absolutely no way this happened as described in the article.

3 Bumper 06.07.11 at 10:23 am

Re: Dunkin Donuts case. I don’t believe I have ever see a story anywhere on the internet that drew 4,585 comments and didn’t involve politics. But what warmed the cockles of my cold, cold heart was how every early on, when there were but a few comments, a commenter raised the specter of our old friend Stella Liebeck and the McDonald’s coffee too hot case being the natural progression of this case. Same said commenter brought to the discussion the same old tired misinformation that Ted Frank via OL has sought to dispel for years.

For the record it is possible to wind up in the hospital with hyperglycemia, but usually only in juvenile previously undiagnosed and therefore untreated cases.

My take on this case is “just-another-finger-in-the-chili.”

4 Jim Collins 06.07.11 at 11:13 am

I have the opposite problem. I am extremely allergic to most artificial sweetners. I have actually had a waitress bring me a Diet Pepsi when I had ordered Pepsi. When I asked her about it after taking a small sip, she replied that I didn’t look like I needed regular Pepsi. When I go to a drive-thru, if I can’t put the cream and sugar in my coffee myself, I don’t go to that drive-thru again.

5 B.RAD 06.07.11 at 2:08 pm

Re $58M verdict

The message sent by a verdict like is:

-the rare few can win the big lottery
-Obstestricians will cut back on babies delivered
-medical students thinking of going into OB/GYN will choose something else.

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