Preparing for a Medical Emergency

No one likes to imagine having a medical emergency, but...

Stroke survivors or their caregivers need to think about the following life-saving preparations.

Wear a medical ID.
First responders and medical personnel are trained to first look for medical identification jewelry in an emergency. Medical IDs will immediately alert emergency medical professionals to your critical health and personal information.

People with afib and people on blood thinners should especially consider wearing a medical ID.

Add ICE to your cell phone. 
Adding ICE ("In case of emergency") to your phone is a means by which emergency personnel can locate your next of kin when something goes wrong. (Here's a simple tutorial.) Also see How To Set Up Your Medical ID & ICE Contact On The iPhone 6.
Keep a medical ID card in your wallet. 
Everyone needs a medical wallet card, listing at least:
  • all current medicine you are taking
  • notification of any chronic medical conditions
  • in case of emergency contact
  • allergies 
You can print it out yourself, here or here.

Use the Vial of Life program 
It allows you to provide medical information in advance that can be used by emergency personnel in the case of an emergency.

The program consists of an envelope (the "vial"), inside which is placed a form which has been filled out stating the health status of the individual and current medications being taken. The container is usually placed in the on the refrigerator. Stickers are placed in the front window of the home so that responding emergency personnel will know to look for the it. The information contained within the vial will provide pre-hospital and hospital providers with essential details that will aid in providing appropriate medical treatment.

You can fill out this online form or you can order a form from any participating Vial of Life organization.

It is important to keep this form up to date. So you might like to keep this form on your own hard disk instead of redoing it from scratch every time something changes.
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