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Medical Alert Necklace Kills Elderly Woman

In what has been labeled a "freak accident," Roseann DiFrancesco, 86, was in her New Cumberland home when she tripped.

She was wearing a medical alert necklace that got caught on her walker. As a result, the necklace that has a help button for emergencies such as this started choking her. On Feb. 15, she was found dead by a visiting nurse.

Cumberland County Coroner Charles Hall told PennLive that her necklace did not have a breakaway clasp. In 2009, the Food and Drug Administration warned of choking hazards related to these types of devices.

Between 1998 and 2009, they said, at least, six choking deaths were connected to the Philips Lifeline Personal Help Button. In 2011 Philips Lifeline issued a recall on neck cords that failed to separate and designed all future cords to have a breakaway safety feature.

The company also has the choice of wearing an alert button on the wrist.

Photo: California Cains Mobility

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