About Emergencies

MedicAlert: How They Can Help in a Medical Emergency

MedicAlertMost people assume that if they end up in the emergency room, they’ll be alert enough to tell the staff everything they need to know about their medical history, and current medications and conditions. But what if you’re seriously ill or even unconscious?

In an emergency, it is critical for first responders and the ER staff to know your medical information in order to treat your emergency properly – so critical, in fact, it can mean life or death.

For example, some drug interactions can be deadly. Knowing what medications you’re currently taking is essential – and so is knowing what, if any, drugs you are allergic to. Your medical team also needs to know what current medical conditions you have, recent surgeries, and family medical history.

So, if you were unable to communicate during a medical emergency, do you know who would speak for you?
Betty Edwards of Savannah, Ga., knows who spoke for her husband, George, when on an out-of-town trip he collapsed in a restaurant. When paramedics arrived they immediately noticed his MedicAlert bracelet and called. Within precious seconds, they were given a list of George’s medications. At the emergency department, doctors determined George had suffered a mild stroke. But, according to one of the doctors who treated him, had it not been for MedicAlert they would have never known he was on blood-thinning medication for his heart – and not knowing that could have caused the treatment to go horribly wrong.

The Coopers also use MedicAlert. Dan Cooper’s mother, Julie Ann, is epileptic and, one day, the one thing they feared most happened. Julie Ann was in line at the post office when she fell to the ground in violent convulsions. MedicAlert was able to give paramedics a complete list of Julie Ann’s medications and medical conditions, which allowed them to quickly treat her. MedicAlert even called Dan to alert him of his mother’s emergency.

MedicAlert is a nonprofit Foundation that provides critical medical information to emergency personnel who call their 24-hour, live-response hotline. And emergency personnel are trained to look for the MedicAlert bracelet that has the toll-free hotline and is engraved with key medical information, such as the person’s most critical condition. For more than 50 years since its founding, MedicAlert has helped to save a countless number of lives.

To learn more about how MedicAlert can help you and your family members in a medical emergency, visit www.medicalert.org/acep.

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