In an emergency your medical information is critical to an accurate, timely and possibly life saving diagnosis. Lives often depend on quick reactions and competent care from first responders who stabilize them and perform pre-hospital medical procedures. Automobile accidents, heart attacks and chronic medical conditions all require immediate attention and access to your personal medical information is vital to an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment. Unfortunately, in many cases that information is not readily available.
A report from the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine cited studies showing between 44,000 and 98,000 people die each year because of mistakes by medical professionals. It also said that “when a patient is treated by several practitioners, they often do not have complete information about the medicines prescribed or the patient’s illnesses.”
Healthcare providers must often either start from scratch or act blindly because they don’t have the patient’s relevant past history, allergies, or medications.
Wearing a Med-Alert bracelet, with a phone number that cam be called for your information, keeping a medical alert card in your wallet, or having a USB device like a Medic Tag on your key chain, can help ensure that medical professionals have access to the information they need to treat you in an emergency.