May 2, 2011

Why Are You Not Wearing Medic Alert Jewelry?

The DOC (diabetes online community) keeps bringing up the topic of people with diabetes getting into trouble in our hospitals. This is not a good thing, but if people learn from this and want to apply the added knowledge to prevent problems for themselves and others in the future, then the experience, while not desirable, has given them a good lesson.

Many of the situations are crying for solutions. When entering the hospitals for a scheduled event, and when entering the hospitals in emergencies, all seem to have problems with hospital staff not caring about the fact that they have diabetes or lack of education by the hospital staff in caring for people with diabetes.

Many people are calling for education, but this will not work until the hospitals develop a more caring attitude and pass this down to the staff. This is a top down problem and can only be solved when hospital administration enforces a caring attitude and assists in education for the weak areas. Presently, hospitals are more interested in profits and the new laws coming into effect over the next few years and how the laws will affect hospital profits than they are in patient care or safety. A few hospitals are in the minority in putting care and patient safety first. Many of these are the non-profit hospitals.

Many people are correct in their complaints. What I am not seeing is what actions are being taken to prevent problems in the future. No one is talking about patient rights. No one is talking about having patient advocates available. No one is talking about wearing any medical alert jewelry to alert medical personnel from EMTs to doctors in the ER to the fact the person has diabetes and which type.

So I will take this opportunity to suggest a little education of friends or a trusted friend, if you do not have a family member that can act for you, should be high on the list of things to do. If the same person can act as an advocate for you so much the better. Just make sure that the trusted family member or trusted friend knows what is required and has the necessary papers to act on your behalf if needed. Make sure that you carry a list of contacts that hopefully will not be lost in an accident.

Then make sure that you are wearing a piece of jewelry that had the medical information necessary for law enforcement, emergency medical personnel, and hospital staff will know that you have diabetes. If you have alert jewelry and if people call the number listed, you should have help.

If you do not do any of the above and an emergency happens, then you will have to be satisfied if something goes wrong. Many people with Type 2 diabetes will not disclose to others that they have diabetes. It is this that gets them into problems. Vanity also gets people into trouble because they will not be seen wearing medic alert jewelry, or as some people are now doing, having medical alert tattoos on different places of their body.

It is the people that do everything right and still have problems that I can sympathize with and agree they have been wronged.

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