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May 16, 2007

Other Social Issues

Question from North Richland Hills, Texas, USA:

My 25 year old nephew, who had type 1, began feeling ill at work and was driven to his car by a co-worker. He was found in his car four hours later and in a coma from which he never regained consciousness. My son also has type 1. Are you aware of any public education programs in place at federal or state levels that would help others, like this co-worker, know how to help a person with diabetes in life threatening situations? If not, do you have any suggestions where to begin? I also am pursuing a way to make certain his death is reported correctly.

Answer:

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I do not know of any state or federal programs that provide education about how to help individuals with diabetes in emergency situations. I would recommend that if a co-worker is worried about someone’s safety, they should just call 911. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has a Government Affairs and Advocacy department, so you may want to contact your local ADA chapter.

Unfortunately, some adults with diabetes choose not to tell their co-workers that they have diabetes because they do not want to be treated differently. However, I always encourage adults with diabetes to tell at least a few co-workers that they have diabetes for safety concerns and tell them what to do in case they need help with a low blood sugar, etc.

Again, I am very sorry about your loss.

DB