Medical ID provides lifesaving service
A Canadian caregiver shares her story
“My mother had a heart attack a few years ago. After being treated and sent home, she began experiencing cardiac problems again and had to quickly return to the hospital. She wasn’t able to get in touch with me before going. The hospital staff checked her MedicAlert bracelet and got access to her critical health information, so they were able to deal with her situation without my presence. MedicAlert was a tremendous help because, although I wasn’t there to speak for my mother, MedicAlert did.”
Shirley Martin has been a member of the Canadian MedicAlert Foundation for years – because she is allergic to penicillin. However, it was a medical emergency involving her mother that solidified for Shirley the value of wearing a MedicAlert ID.
Now, imagine that a child with asthma and allergies has a medical emergency at school or an elderly parent with dementia goes missing. The worry and anxiety can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be, particularly if that child or adult is wearing medical identification linked to a 24 hour emergency hotline.
In a medical emergency, actions taken during the first few minutes, or even seconds, can be critical to saving someone’s life. No one understands this better than the paramedics who arrive on the scene. They know how easy it is to misdiagnose symptoms in the absence of knowledge about the person’s existing medical conditions, especially when the person is unable to communicate and has no one on hand to explain things.
In these circumstances, wearing medical ID can be a lifesaver. It gives emergency healthcare providers the information they need to immediately begin proper treatment. Norm Roberge, a Level II Paramedic with Toronto Ambulance, sums it up this way, “MedicAlert is your medical history. It’s the story you can’t tell me when you’re unconscious.”
Similarly, if a confused or disoriented missing person is found, medical ID can help return that person to their home, safe and sound.
However, not all medical ID is the same. MedicAlert, provided by the Canadian MedicAlert Foundation, is the only body-worn medical ID backed by a 24-hour Emergency Hotline. The service gives emergency staff, in Canada and abroad, immediate access to the wearer’s personal information and emergency medical record.
This makes MedicAlert ID ideally suited to anyone with:
- an ongoing medical condition, such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, heart disease or asthma;
- a drug or food allergy, such as a dangerous reaction to nuts, seafood or a common emergency drug like penicillin;
- implants, such as pacemakers or coronary stents;
- difficulty communicating health information, for example people with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia;
- other medical conditions or special needs that should be communicated to first responders when providing emergency care.
“The power of MedicAlert is that it’s a highly recognizable symbol that lets emergency responders know they can have access to critical health information in five seconds flat,” says Robert Ridge, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian MedicAlert Foundation. “In addition to offering caregivers like Ms. Martin extra piece of mind, MedicAlert will quickly notify family and friends of those involved in a medical emergency.”
The Canadian MedicAlert Foundation is the largest national registered charity offering medical identification linked to a 24-hour emergency hotline. Since 1961, MedicAlert has been a reliable emergency medical service provider, and today more than one million Canadians rely on its service.
For more information about the Canadian MedicAlert Foundation, visit medicalert.ca or call 1.866.696.0268.