WILMINGTON – How many phone numbers do you have saved in your cell phone? If something happened to you, how would emergency workers know who to call?
There are many common scenarios that occur which would demand immediate medical information be given to emergency personnel:
• Heart attack or stroke
• Blacking out/fainting
• Severe allergic reactions
• Traumatic injury
In many of these situations, the injured party is alone and unconscious, leaving emergency personnel to make decisions without knowing the patient’s complete medical history. To help, emergency workers devised an “In Case of Emergency” plan (ICE) to make sure that the victim’s family is notified and critical information is relayed to paramedics quickly.
ICE is easy to set up. Just put the name of your emergency contact in your cell phone address book with the word “ICE” in front of it. For example, if your emergency contact is John Doe, you should put “ICE John Doe” in your phone book. If you have more than one emergency contact, you can list them as ICE1, ICE2, ICE3, and so on.
“So often, patients come in unresponsive due to injury from motor vehicle crashes or other traumatic injury or illness,” says Ruth White, manager of the NHRMC Emergency department. “The majority of our patients have cell phones on them or in their personal effects. Having the ICE contact in their phones would enable us to get their families to them sooner and to learn important medical information.”
Remember: it is important to notify your ICE contacts so they can be prepared for any emergency calls they may get. Make sure to keep the contact information current and also update your ICE contacts of any changes in your medical history.