Last month, I published a post about wearing medical alert bracelets for emergency information. During a medical emergency there is some information which is lifesaving and other information which, while nice to know, is not essential.
So what information do paramedics and emergency first responders need to know during life threatening emergencies?
Firstly they need to know if you have a DNR in place. Or a Do Not Resuscitate Order. Unlike on man's twitter trending tattoo. Unless you carry the paperwork on you, signed and court approved, they may only be able to provide life saving measures. (I do not sell DNR charms or bracelets but you may choose to engrave the back side of a medical alert charm with DNR order numbers or where to locate paperwork).
Secondly, although I hope this is actually first for most of us, is anything which could kill you or leave you unconscious. Especially if it is something which may routinely be a part of emergency medical care. Such as latex, iodine or severe drug allergies which cause anaphylaxis.
Thirdly include any rare, life-threatening conditions.
Medical conditions which could be confused for something life threatening; such as seizure disorders or being autistically non-verbal.
Missing organs; which can impact what drugs are suitable for you. Likewise, medications you take, which can threaten your life such as warfarin or other blood thinners and beta blockers, etc..
All of the above are things to include on Medical Alert Charms and Bracelets. For anything below I would create a medical information card or list. Carry a copy in your purse or wallet, keep a copy on the fridge (preferably not buried under kids drawings and bills), in your emergency kit and even keep a copy where you keep your medicines in your home. Paramedics and EMTs will briefly go looking but their first priority is to rescue and recover you.
Not so vital is the full list of your medications and medical conditions. It is not that this information is not important, more that it is not life threatening and can be considered after your life has been secured.
This is when they are able to secure your full name, Mobility issues, address, date of birth, treating doctors and In-Case-Of-Emergency (ICE) Contacts.
Don't be too worried if you are separated from your medical alert or your medical information list if they only state asthma or diabetes. Asthma and Type II Diabetes are now often so common, that Ventolin, Insulin and Blood Sugar meters are part of all ambulance and some large medical first aid kits. Often being conditions medical staff are trained to automatically consider as part of routine treatment.