Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Do you think you're ready for an emergency? Do you have an ICE number programmed into your phone? It's about time you take care of yourself. Do the smart thing and put a card in your wallet with this information... Label it: EMERGENCY INFORMATION

  • Your name (Also include your maiden name, too, if you're married.) Underline the name you go by. For example, The Hater's name is The (Super) Hater; Super would not have been underlined.
  • Your birthday (Your real birthday, the one with the real year you were born.)
  • Drug allergies (Just list them. If you have none, say "I don't have any drug allergies." If you have allergies, list them this way: Drug allergies: Benadryl, Penicillin, Keflex, tape)
  • Do you know your blood type? If so, list it. ("Blood type: O positive")
  • Do you wear contacts? ("Does wear contact lenses in both eyes" or "Does not wear contact lenses")
  • What medications are you currently taking? List them here. See below for how you should list them.
  • Do you have any significant medical history? Give a quick few-liners if you do. This does not have to be a novella of your history. Mention what is the most specific -- list those. (Mine would say "Significant medical history: thyroid cancer"; other people might list diseases they have, such as hypertension, diabetes, cancers, conditions that have caused you to seek medical help.)
  • When was your last Tetanus shot? List that date here. (The CDC says that you need a Tetanus booster shot every ten years.)
  • Any other pertinant vaccination information can be listed, too.
  • Emergency phone numbers. I list two separate people, just in case one cannot be reached.
  • You may want to list what your job is. I wouldn't go into a lot of detail, but it might be pertinent to your plan of care and type of education you receive.
  • If you claim a certain flavor of religion, I would list it on the card. This will prompt the staff to notify the chaplain who can best serve you and yours.
  • Make sure you put the date on it! ("last updated 01 Feb 07")
And as far as your cell phone goes, many people suggest programming an "ICE" number into your list of important numbers. In Case of Emergency = ICE. That way if you're unconscious, any EMSA worker can go down your phone and find who to call if it's an emergency. I don't have an ICE number marked, but I do have mine labeled "The Hater Husband", so that anyone should be able to figure out which numbers to call and get a hold of him. However, The Hater doesn't have any such numbers labeled in his phone; we're working on that one.

Next... do you take a lot of different kinds of medications? If so, you might want to have a separate note with those listed. Any time you are listing medications, please also include your medication allergies and herbal medications you take. You can do it in this fashion; this is what mine would say: (name of medication, dose, how often you take it)

1. Synthroid 200mcg once daily
2. prenatal multi-vitamin once daily
3. calcium supplementation daily (Tums, Citrica-Cal plus Magnesium)
4. ranitidine 75mg once daily in the morning
5. Advil for pain, if needed (not regularly)
6. I have no drug allergies.
It is most likely that you're on more medicines than I am, and that's okay. List what you are taking. That includes over the counter and herbal medications, too.

If you choose not to carry around an emergency medical card, please consider making a list of your medications and including it with your health insurance card in your wallet. In an emergency, it could save your life.

* This post was brought to you by a need for me to update The Hater's and my personal cards that we carry in our wallet. I'm using an index card that I cut to be the same size as all the other cards in our wallet. I've highlighted the edge in yellow so that it will easily be seen by someone going through our wallet looking for such emergency information.


LV7 said...

Hmm. This is to say that at the scene of my near-fatal accident, the paramedics will be rifling through my wallet and making random calls on my cellphone? :)

do they look through everybody's wallet(s) everytime?

Kate said...

Um... what brought this on? Anything in particular? I mean, most people don't think to update their emergency cards...

genderist said...

No, the medics will probably just try to keep you alive until you get to the ER, and then those doctors will have nurses go through your wallet hoping for information. :)

And this isn't really brought on by anything... besides a need to update our cards, which I have now done.

Anonymous said...

Great advice. VolMom

bill said...

Have you seen those services now offering what's essentially a personal EMR? I've been thinking about buying into one... or possibly sticking this info onto my USB, which, good news, is on the my key chain, and, bad news, assumes someone would have access to a USB reader...

Arielle said...

Hey we are on the same dose of Synthroid. And you are too good at taking your Calcium. I never remember.

Thanks for reminding me to put the ICE number in my phone. I always forget after I think I should do it.

Hey this is my reminder for you, don't for get to do your monthly mammogram. :)

genderist said...

Honey, we're not due mammograms until we're in our 40s... let's do self breast exams instead! ;) Hey, do you need a reminder shower card? I have an extra one.