A deficiency of thiamine, also known as vitamin B1, can be serious. Thiamine is an essential vitamin to the human body. Without enough of it, you can develop several symptoms.
These symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite
- Reduced reflexes
- Tingling sensation in the limbs
- Muscle weakness
- Blurred vision
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abnormally slow heart rate
- Shortness of breath
In extreme cases, thiamine deficiency can lead to Wernicke/Korsakoff Syndrome, a disease that can cause brain damage and death.
The potential consequences of failing to diagnose thiamine deficiency
As you can see, there are several dramatic symptoms of vitamin B1 deficiency. However, doctors do not always properly diagnose this condition, even though it most often appears in specific cases, such as pregnant women struggling with severe vomiting and nausea and patients who have undergone bariatric or gastrointestinal surgery. What these people can in common is a problem eating thiamine-rich foods. Thus, a patient who presents symptoms of malnutrition or prolonged vomiting should be tested for thiamine deficiency.
When the doctor fails to test for this deficiency, the patient is put at unnecessary risk of death. Failure to diagnose a potentially serious condition exposes the patient to suffering they would not have experienced had their doctor acted responsibly. They may have to undergo more grueling treatments than would have had their condition been diagnosed in a timely manner.
Financial compensation may be possible
If you or a family member suffered from thiamine deficiency exacerbated by a doctor’s misdiagnosis or failed diagnosis, you could be facing massive medical bills. You may have a claim for medical malpractice to help compensate you for those bills, as well as for your pain and suffering and other damages.