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January 5, 2007

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Question from San Francisco, California, USA:

I am a social worker with The Center for Diabetes Services and I was wondering if there were any funds available to get Medical alert items for families who cannot afford one (or afford a pretty one).

Answer:

Contact Medic Alert directly at their 800 number or via their e-mail address as they are usually quite helpful. Inexpensive bracelets and necklaces can also be purchased at many pharmacies even though they are not connected to the computerized Medic Alert system. They clearly serve a similar purpose for warning emergency medical personnel of existing diabetes or other problems. It is the same with all the “jewelry” services.

SB
Additional comments from Dr. David Schwartz:

Not that I know of, but in my office, we went on to make a compromise for patients: We went on-line and found a company that prints materials on those new, popular rubber/silicon wrist bands that you’ve probably seen (e.g., LiveStrong, WWJD). They have small and large sizes and multiple colors from which to choose. We simply put “DIABETES” on the wrist band. We got “a bunch” for very little overall expense. In fact, we got a small grant locally from an insurance company consortium to pay. Perhaps a small investment for later greater returns.

Some kids still “forget” or “lose” this medical ID, but most have found them less obtrusive than more common medical IDs.

DS