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Emergency Care and Personal Medical Information

Posted Mar 07 2013 12:36pm

I was talking to a man the other day who told me the tragic account of a young man in his extended family who went into shock after eating something he was allergic to when he was out to lunch with friends. He had always been highly allergic, I was told, but apparently something was in the food he ate he didn't know about. The para-medics were there within two minutes, but when they called the ER doctor at the local hospital, they were told not to give epinephrine until the doctor saw the man. The young man died on the way to the hospital. Epinephrine could have saved his life.

As I thought about this very sad account, I wondered  if the young man was wearing a Medic Alert  bracelet or carrying any kind of information that could have saved his life. My patients have always had a good experience with the company that sells MedicAlert bracklets or neck chains. Anyone with severe allergies or problems, such as Malignant hyperthermia that occurs with some muscle diseases, diabetes or heart  disease that might need emergency care should have such identification. I am sure there are other companies that also sell bracelts etc. These are engraved with vital information.

If an individual lives alone and has no close neighbors or relatives, there is a form that can be printed from the Internet called a Vial of Life. This lists emergency information and can be posted on the refirgerator or in an obvious place for an ambulance driver to see.

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