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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What's On Your ICE?

Experts say it's a good idea to enter your emergency contact information in your mobile phone using this acronym, which stands for "In Case of Emergency."
The more ways you have of comunicating with emergency medical service (EMS) workers, the better, says Kathleen Clem, M.D., chief of emergency medicine at Duke University Hospital and spokeswoman for the American College of Emergency Physicians. But she also adds that this isn't the only thing you can do to provide vital information in an emergency situation. You should also keep critical medical information in a prominent place in your home such as on your refrigerator, and on a credit card-size piece of paper in your wallet. Be sure to also include any chronic diseases you're being treated for, such as diabetes, asthma or heart disease, as well as list of medications you take and allergies you have.
Dr. Clem also recommends that heart disease patients can ask about having their latest echocardiogram made into miniature to keep in their wallet.
Medic Alert products are another easy way to communicate with EMS workers. Several new websites such, allow you to store a more detailed health history. If you keep the web address and your password on you, doctors can access your history quickly and securely. Even if EMS workers that arrive on the scene don't have time to search for this information, they will be able to use it when you're brought into the ER."