Research Article

Why blind diabetics with renal failure should be offered treatment.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 287 doi: (Published 22 October 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;287:1177
  1. C T Flynn


    During May 1978 to April 1983 this renal dialysis unit treated 65 patients by continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis. Of these, 24 had type I (insulin dependent) diabetes, of whom 20 were blind; eight had type II (non-insulin dependent) diabetes, of whom three were blind; and 33 did not have diabetes and were not blind. The cumulative actuarial survival rates of these patients at five years were 60% for blind diabetics, 40% for sighted diabetics, and 46% for the non-diabetics. Of the 23 blind patients, 22 successfully achieved self care, including the self administration of insulin into the peritoneal dialysis solution. Blind patients had the least peritonitis and fewest complications of continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis, and none objected to the treatment or requested to be taken off it or be allowed to die. It was concluded that blind diabetic patients with renal failure showed both the will and the ability to stay alive and that their treatment was worth while.