God, now people have to worry about being Tased for having a low blood sugar reaction.
Michelle Schreiner’s blood sugar was dangerously low when a friend called 9-1-1 and Gresham police and paramedics arrived to find her holding a syringe full of insulin.
The officer ordered Schreiner — who was dropping in and out of consciousness and was having trouble speaking or moving — to drop the syringe. He shot Schreiner with a stun gun before handcuffing her and allowing paramedics to treat her.
Not only was the incident life-threatening, Schreiner said, the stun gun was excruciating, and she was left humiliated, with saliva and mucus running from her mouth and nose.
Schreiner sued in U.S. District Court over the December 2005 incident. Last month, the city and Schreiner’s attorney, Beth Creighton, reached a settlement: Schreiner received $37,500 and a promise that Gresham will train its officers by the end of summer in how to better recognize and care for people in medical distress, including those with diabetes.
More than 10% of adults have diabetes, and there are more than 23 million Americans living with it. And a lot of people are on insulin therapy, so that means that there’s always a possibility of a rapid-onset low blood sugar instance, particularly if a person’s regimen is tightly controlled.
For police, there is no excuse not to recognize the signs when the American Diabetes Association offers free training and has a video – “Recognizing and Treating Low Blood Sugar Reactions … Or is it drinking, drugs or diabetes?”
Certainly pulling out the Taser should not be the first option.