The Medic Alert system is simple, but it saves lives.
There are millions of people out there, who have medical problems that you can't see on the outside. For example, there are things like allergies to medications, diseases like Situs Inversus, or congenital medical conditions.
If you subscribe to Medic Alert's services, you get a necklace or bracelet to wear. (You can see the various types at http://www.medicalert.org/products3.asp). On it is a simple message, that the wearer has a serious medical condition. There is a toll-free number to call, along with an ID # on the plate.
Lets say, heaven forbid, you are knocked unconscious in a car accident. Standard Emergency Medical Technician protocol requires the EMT/Paramedic to check for a MedicAlert tag before taking any important steps. Every ambulance in the US today has a cellular phone, and can also radio the dispatch with the numbers if necessary. Whoever can call day or night and look up the salient facts needed to treat. If it says you are allergic to morphine, it will prevent the Paramedic and ER doctors from administering it. If they didn't have this information and administered it anyway, you could have an anaphalytic attack and die from it. The ambulance people and doctors can call this number and get your medical information.
- Receive faster, safer treatment
- Avoid harmful or fatal reactions, if you have a drug allergy
- Ensure family members are notified, so you're not alone
- Maintain confidentiality of personal information, prevent unauthorized use
The MedicAlert System has been operational for 45 years, providing identification and personal medical information in emergencies. About 100,000 medical professionals reccomend the service, and there are four million members worldwide.
Aside from the cost of the bracelet, there is a $20US /year fee. With that, there is a 24-hour hotline availible for the doctors to call to find out your medical information.
There is an alternative, which is to keep a small card in your wallet, with medical info. There are a couple of drawbacks to that. First, it can get separated from you easily, such as if you're dragged out of a burning building; your wallet possibly left behind. Second, the bracelet/necklace is much easier to spot, instead of having your purse's contents rifled through during the trip to the hospital.
Second, there was this upsetting incident in the local ER a few years back. This stab wound victim came in, unconscious. In his wallet was a Jehovah's witness card, saying DO NOT, under any circumstances give this man blood. Doing all they could without a transfusion, he died from blood loss. The next day, the police found out he was not a Jehovah's Witness, he had stolen the wallet.
Credits to Medicalert.org