How to Store Important Health Information for First Responders
You never know when an emergency will strike. That’s why it’s important to be able to provide emergency responders with important medical and health information even if you are not able to directly communicate with them. Readily available medical information will help first responders make informed decisions about your care. This will also give a more complete picture of your current health so nothing is forgotten in the heat of the moment.
First and foremost, make sure everyone you have listed as an emergency contact has access to your basic health information. It is also important for you to know and have the medical and health information related to anyone for whom you are an emergency contact. This could include your spouse, children, parents, in-laws, and/or siblings. Also make sure your children carry around information about themselves, especially if they have a severe allergy.
What to Include
It can be overwhelming to try and think of all the information you might need an in emergency. Here are a few things to include:
- Name, birthdate, gender, and any identifying features (like a birthmark)
- All medications (including over-the-counter drugs), dosages, and schedules
- Chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, epilepsy, heart disease, etc.
- Emergency contacts and primary care physician contact information
- Allergies and sensitivities, which can include anything from medicine to food to bee stings and more
- Any other information important to your health
How to Store Your Information
Health information should be clearly labeled and easily identifiable in an emergency, no matter who is helping you. It is best to type the health information in a word processor and print it out so it can be read easily. A few logical places to store it are:
- In your wallet: Cut or fold the paper down to a credit card size (approximately 3×2 inches) and place it in a slot in your wallet.
- In the notes section of your smartphone
- In a first aid kit
- In your car’s glove compartment
- With each of your emergency contacts
- On the cloud: be sure to send your emergency contacts the link to the electronic document.
As an additional step, label your emergency contacts in your cell phone as “ICE” (In Case of Emergency). “ICE John Smith” or “ICE Michelle Jones,” for example. This way, first responders or a good samaritan can easily find and call someone who has access to your important information.
Other Storage Options
There are several smartphone apps and medical devices that can help store your medical and health information. Check your smartphone app store for all available options to see what will work best for you and which apps are the most trustworthy. You can also ask your doctor or pharmacist if they have any recommendations.
Preparation is the best way to handle an emergency. Since an emergency can happen at a moment’s notice, encourage your friends and family to update their medical and health information regularly and store it appropriately. This is especially important if you are their emergency contact.
If the Worst Happens, the Attorneys at Hossley & Embry Are Here for You
We know a medical emergency (like a car accident) can be devastating. If you or a loved one needs legal counsel after a medical emergency, please call Hossley & Embry at (866) 522-9265. You can also fill out a convenient online form, and we will be in touch promptly. We offer free consultations, and we have the resources available (including charter aircraft) to travel throughout Texas and the United States on short notice to investigate your potential claim.
Emergency health information: Keep your personal and family records within reach. (2015, June 9). The Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/first-aid/emergency-health-information/basics/art-20134333