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What do emergency responders need to know about me in the case of an emergency?

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What do emergency responders need to know about me in the case of an emergency?

Old 02-13-13, 11:48 PM
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E.S.
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What do emergency responders need to know about me in the case of an emergency?

Preparing for my 2013 season of safe and accident-free riding... but in that spirit, I'm also re-examining what I carry on rides.
What do emergency responders need to know about me in the case of an emergency?

Hypothetical: I'm out riding solo and I am involved in some kind of accident, unconscious and possibly seriously injured on the side of the road. (Hopefully not dead). What kind of ID/medical information is relevant and necessary to the good-samaritan first-responder, emergency personnel, and hospital staff?

I currently carry at least my ID but not at all opposed to getting some cheap dog tags with contact phone numbers, blood type info? etc.

Thanks for input.
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Old 02-13-13, 11:54 PM
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Anything to do with allergies is useful, as is mentioning that you're a diabetic etc. Blood type not so much, from my understanding they usually run tests before giving blood transfusions anyway.
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Old 02-13-13, 11:56 PM
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Ok, no allergies that I'm aware of and no diseases. Do they assume that if no information to the contrary is available?
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Old 02-13-13, 11:58 PM
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Driver's license with correct home address, emergency contact, medical insurance card, primary physician name and phone, drug allergies, current medications.

If you need blood, they will type and match before giving you any.

Or I guess you can just get a Road ID bracelet: https://www.roadid.com/Common/default.aspx
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Old 02-14-13, 01:16 AM
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Name, DOB, current med list, allergies to meds, medical history (asthma, diabetes, hypertension etc). An emergency contact is nice but we do not need your address, insurance, or even a phone number for you. Hospital databases are linked and your info will find you.
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Old 02-14-13, 07:32 AM
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Thanks guys!
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Old 02-14-13, 07:36 AM
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I have my name, address, and wife's home and cell phone on a dog tag (literally, printed at Wal-Mart) that's on a chain around my neck. I carry my wallet and a phone list in my saddle bag or backpack (depending on the bike), should someone look for them.

My only allergy is penicillin, so I didn't list it.. figuring antibiotics wouldn't be administered immediately. It's not a severe reactive either. If I had a sever reaction, I'd have listed it.
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Old 02-14-13, 08:21 AM
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"Please don't forget my bike" should be on the list........
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Old 02-14-13, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Multcomedic View Post
Name, DOB, current med list, allergies to meds, medical history (asthma, diabetes, hypertension etc). An emergency contact is nice but we do not need your address, insurance, or even a phone number for you. Hospital databases are linked and your info will find you.
this.

its not just about keeping you alive but what we should not do that could make your condition worse
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Old 02-14-13, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by spinbackle View Post
"Please don't forget my bike" should be on the list........
If they are reading the tag around my neck, my bike is probably OK to forget.
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Old 02-14-13, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Multcomedic View Post
Hospital databases are linked and your info will find you.
Are you sure this is true for all areas? We have 2 health systems in our areas, and one never seems to know anything about the other.
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Old 02-14-13, 09:32 AM
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i can assure you that hospital databases (even at major level 1 trauma centers) are not necessarily "linked".
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Old 02-14-13, 10:14 AM
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If you're one of those folks who objects to blood transfusions on religious grounds, I guess you'd want that on there, too.
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Old 02-14-13, 10:22 AM
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Thanks for reminding me. I'm been meaning to get a road ID bracelet.

I know this sounds like an ad, but it's truth. I had a friend who's life perhaps was saved last year because he was wearing his road ID. He had a massive heart attack on the bike, alone at night. (and he's an extremely fit guy). A passer by helped him, called 911 and did CPR, His health information could be quickly found and it helped the first responders. Long story short, he was lucky to have survived, and has made a spectacular recovery. The Dr.s and the EMTs' said that having his info so quickly was a big in his emergency treatment and just might have made the critical difference. (an no I don't have any connection to Road ID)

Take it FWIW. But you make your own luck sometimes. I'm going to order one now. I ride alone a lot.

Last edited by modernjess; 02-14-13 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 02-14-13, 10:29 AM
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You can request a plastic surgeon instead of just a regular one, even for emergency surgery (if they can get there in time). That'll help with the scars.
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Old 02-14-13, 10:54 AM
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+1 on

Name, date of birth, allergies (medication and otherwise), medical conditions, and current medications.

In addition to a personal emergency contact, it is helpful to have a contact number for your primary medical care provider, especially if you have an unusual or complicated medical history. As mentioned, a hospital would never give type specific blood based on a medical tag or card, they will always run tests or give O- (universal donor) or other non type specific products.

As far as requesting a plastic surgeon rather than a "regular" one. If you are unconscious or in a severely altered mental state from a trauma, scarring is the least of your problems. Medical systems are very aware of the need to minimize cosmetic effects of a trauma, but a plastic surgeon won't be elbowing your thoracic, neuro, ortho or general trauma surgeons out of the way in a trauma code. The reconstructive or cosmetic consultation will come after your condition has stabilized.

For non-critical trauma, like cuts to the face or hands/arms, that are not immediately life threatening sure you can ask for the appropriate surgeon of your choice, but you will be alert and oriented and the medical staff won't be needing your Road ID or other medical alert tag or card for that information.
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Old 02-14-13, 11:43 AM
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On a slightly more morbid note, I'll add information as to whether you're an organ donor. (You should be)
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Old 02-14-13, 12:02 PM
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Here's what my RoadID has:

My full name
First emergency contact's name, phone number, and relationship (wife)
Second emergency contact's name, phone number, and relationship (mom)
NKA, NO MED HX, DOB '81 (NKA = No Known Allergies, NO MED HX = No Medical History/Issues)
ORGAN DONOR
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Old 02-14-13, 12:08 PM
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This topic comes up from time to time and usually morphs into what kind of id is best. If the search function worked better we could see some of them.
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Old 02-14-13, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Myosmith View Post
As far as requesting a plastic surgeon rather than a "regular" one. If you are unconscious or in a severely altered mental state from a trauma, scarring is the least of your problems. Medical systems are very aware of the need to minimize cosmetic effects of a trauma, but a plastic surgeon won't be elbowing your thoracic, neuro, ortho or general trauma surgeons out of the way in a trauma code. The reconstructive or cosmetic consultation will come after your condition has stabilized.

For non-critical trauma, like cuts to the face or hands/arms, that are not immediately life threatening sure you can ask for the appropriate surgeon of your choice, but you will be alert and oriented and the medical staff won't be needing your Road ID or other medical alert tag or card for that information.
Awake, perhaps, but alert, not for sure, you might still be in shock or have a concussion. It's also something that people don't know they can ask for. I have facial scarring from going partially thru a windshield that is worse because I didn't know I could request someone besides the emergency room surgeon.
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Old 02-14-13, 04:29 PM
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I had my wife make my roadID because she is an emergency room doctor. This is what she put on it:

Name
Emergency phone number
Significant medical history
Significant drug allergies
Significant medications


As people have mentioned, blood type is useless because they won't trust it. She doesn't even trust blood typing done at other hospitals for transfers. Anyone who comes through the door gets typed before getting blood. If they don't have time to get typed, they get universal.

Whether or not you are an organ donor is also immaterial; your family gets to make that decision for you. You could have a tattoo that reads "Please harvest my organs" across your chest, but no one is going to take them if your family shows up and says, 'no.' This is why everyone should have a frank discussion with their family about their wishes.

Your address is worthless because no one is going to your house.

Your insurance info is worthless because in the ER they are required to treat you whether you have insurance or not. If you do, it'll get sorted out later. If, however, you know that your insurance is only good at one hospital (or cheaper at an in-network hospital), you can put down that you wish to be taken to a specific facility. It doesn't guarantee that you'll end up there, but they'll take you if they notice and it's not too far out of the way.

Other wishes (like the one about wanting a plastic surgeon) are also worthless. If it is emergent enough that they are taking you in right then and there, you are getting the doctor on call who gets there first. If it isn't emergent enough to require immediate attention, you can figure out the special requests on your own.



The point of the information on your emergency card is two-fold: it tells them what they need to know to save your life in the immediate present, and who to call. Everything else is a waste of space because those decision will be sorted out when you wake up or when your family gets there.
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Old 02-14-13, 07:09 PM
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I put my name and my wife's cell # on my helmet. Bike and motorcycle.
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Old 02-14-13, 08:17 PM
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name, emergency contact number, allergies. I put blood type on too though I doubt they'd do a transfusion without typing anyway.

I just bought cheap small dog tags from an online pet supplier, wear one on my neck and one in the laces of my shoes.
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Old 02-14-13, 08:40 PM
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Resting heart-rate might help avoid some enthusiastic EMT from over-stimulating your heart when they're reacting to the fact it's only 45-50bpm.

- Wil
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Old 02-14-13, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
name, emergency contact number, allergies. I put blood type on too though I doubt they'd do a transfusion without typing anyway.

I just bought cheap small dog tags from an online pet supplier, wear one on my neck and one in the laces of my shoes.
Uncrossmatched blood is sometimes used if there is no time for a crossmatch - better to get uncrossmatched blood than to bleed to death. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16401949
https://www.lhsc.on.ca/lab/bldbank/btm/F_uncrossed.pdf

I wear a cheap dog tag, too, with name, address, phone number and ICE phone number. I have no significant medical issues.
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