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Discussion Starter #1
This discussion came up a while ago on another board I used to frequent and it's an important topic to discuss. Many of us take toxic drugs to control our disease and in the event of a medical emergency, it's very important that the medical staff know what we're currently taking. If we can't speak for ourselves, they won't have the information they need. When I first started MTX I read that a medical bracelet was recommended so no contraindicated drugs would mistakenly be given during an emergency. When I asked my RD about this, he agreed it was a good idea. Now, I know myself and I know I won't wear a bracelet every day, so I have a medical card that I keep in an easily seen part of my wallet that lists what I take, how often and how much along with my diagnosis, blood type, etc. There is even an on-line card that you can print out but I don't remember the name of it right now, sorry. A Google search should make it easy enough to find if you're interested.

Anyway, I just wanted to alert any of you who don't already do this as to the importance of keeping accurate medical information handy. It could save your life!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's good. I think it's important to have a similar thread started every six months or so for the new people who may not be aware of its importance.
 

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yes indeed :)
 

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Just in my experience, I find that emmergency staff don't go looking for cards when it comes to the point (I have been scooped up on the pavement by ambulances many a time) and highly recommend bracelets as something that paramedics and medical staff are trained to actually look for. They can be useful if you are awake enough that you can direct them too it, but no one has ever looked at my medic alert card, even when I was picked up with my then three year old daughter who obviously needed someone to care for her as I was so unwell. My card has a contact person on it (my sister who would have come and picked up my daughter) but nope, they never looked for it, and that was at a major hospital. Personally I don't have much faith in them, but they may work for some. They definitely can be helpful if you are alert enough to direct them to the card.

cheers

Raglet
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Raglet, I never heard that before but you obviously have first-hand experience. Hmm, maybe I need to reconsider that ID bracelet.
 

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I have a medic alert necklace I wear when out of the house (even if I'm going round the block with the dog) as well a medic alert card that, to be honest, has been living in my desk drawer for the past year or so. I agree with Raglet; in my experience too in an emergent situation where the patient is unconscious docs and emts tend to look for a bracelet and/or a necklace and they don't really look for cards (at least not in this country).

Cards are very useful if someone can alert the docs to their existence or if docs/emts look at one's wallet to retrieve one's ID and stumble on the card there. A bracelet or a necklace is the safest way to go I think if one suffers from something (or is on meds) likely to influence emergent treatment.

My medic alert necklace has necessary medical information on it and that's followed by an ID number and a phone number. When medical personal call the phone number provided and give the ID number they receive information on meds, diseases, family and doctor emergency contact numbers etc etc. So, the same information contained in the medic alert cards really; just docs are more likely to get the info (when one is unconscious) from a bracelet or necklace then a card.

Zoi
 

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If anyone IS considering a medic alert bracelet - I have a child bracelet, it is still big enough to fit an adult but the emblem is not so bulky. I really like it, and it still fits a lot of information on the back.

I started wearing them yonks ago when they only had the ickky old stainless steel ones - I love the option of silver/gold. I have a silver one but my sister, who has more spare cash them me haha has both a gold and a silver one so she can match it with her jewellery. When I win lotto I might do the same .....

cheers

Raglet
 

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I bought a bracelet after the last thread, Its like a kind of watch that you unscrew the top and there is paper inside with all the info etc, Cost a few bob:rolleyes:

The first time I wore it I was getting into my car when the lid sprung off, the paper unravelled and I never found the lid since! I still have the guts of it and the paper but its no use without its lid. Time to rethink...

Definitely something that can be worn on the wrist or neck is better than a card. My Dad, at one stage, was taken to hospital in an emergency and he had all his information on a little card in his wallet that I had specially printed and laminated for him. He was a diabetic. They never looked for it. Oh well...

Cheers
Joan:rose:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Since my medication changes, I think the best option for me would be to get a bracelet that alerts them to the complete information on the card in my wallet. That way when the information changes, I only have to change the card and not have a whole new bracelet made. I don't think I want the expense of having a call-in service at this time so the combination bracelet/card is probably a good option.
 

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the other option is to use a term like 'taking immunosupressants' rather than saying you are on methotrexate. Then it doesn't matter if they swop you from metho on to imuran or whatever. Keep it general, and only put on it what really matters. It is actually possible to have things crossed out if necessary, and it doesn't make any difference to the look of the bracelet - I had that done with my old stainless steel emblem many years ago.

Raglet
 

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I don't think I want the expense of having a call-in service at this time
This is not an ongoing expense - it comes as part of the price of the bracelet. Medic Alert is a charitable organisation and their prices are very reasonable.

Raglet
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks, Raglet. I'm going to look into the call-in service. I think I'd rather do that than limit my information to 'taking immunosupressants' which might not tell them what they need to know. I'm not concerned about one being swapped for another, but being given a totally different drug that wouldn't mix well with one of the other drugs I take, either immunosupressant or another type. Either the call-in service or the medical card will give them complete information, and that just makes me feel better. Call me a worry-wart, LOL.
 

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Good Idea

Hi All
such a great thread, and also to see the previous discussion that I must have missed.

I had loaded the Australian Medic Alert a few days ago, as I see my G.P tomorrow. For nearly 2 years she has not been interested in lupus/aps at all, waiting for specialists to tell her what to do, which hasn't stopped me getting referred to specialists away from my city.

Whether I just have lupus like symptoms according to one rheumy, and nothing from others, I have had many sudden emergencies-brain operation flown down south, had to fly back from PNG to Australia with no speech, knowing it was another stroke.

Going to E.R. saying I thought I was having a stroke, and the 20 months of non action- until I had to get to specialists with my so many symptoms.
I fell flat on concrete walking to shop. Went to local G.P. who said 'use horse linement. '

Had one grand mal seizure years ago- in hospital for 3 days. So I had when I have much pain, so many symptoms lately , I printed out a synopsis, for kitchen table, car, and in purse. But had decided on the MA stainless steel bracelet- only $55 here, with backup on site.

It will be interesting to see what my non-believing GP says, writes(doctors have to sign off. )Such a shortage of GPs here, can't get into most, and one I'd waited to get in for months, after first visit, said she didn't want me as I'd been to too many specialists- none here- had to fly away.
 

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I bought a med alert bracelet after the previous thread.
I put my name, heart failure, sle, date of birth, phone number and then put see med list in wallet. I got a pretty beaded bracelet.;)

Here in the US you can put ICE on your contact list in your cell phone. (in case of emergency)

Take care,
Lyn
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yes, Lyn, that ICE is a good idea. I got an e-mail about that quite a while back and put my son and husband's "ICE" numbers on my cell phone. For anyone who's not familiar with this, according to the e-mail, emergency personnel now check a patient's cell phone for emergency numbers and the ICE alerts them to the people you want contacted in case of an emergency. Very handy.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Raglet;524945 said:
This is not an ongoing expense - it comes as part of the price of the bracelet. Medic Alert is a charitable organisation and their prices are very reasonable.

Raglet
Raglet, can you direct me to the proper site? The Medic Alert site I went to charges $39.95 for the first year of service and $25.00 every year after that plus the cost of the bracelet. Can you tell me which company you're referring to? I'd like to use that one. Thanks!
 

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I have a medic alert bracelet that contains essential info. SLE, that i'm on steroids, imunnosuppressants and anti-coagulant plus what I am allergic to. It has come in handy over the numerous times I have ended up being carted away in an ambulance! Paramedics are quite aware of them and have (in my case at least) always noticed it. More detailed info is found by phoning the number on the bracelet that goes through to the medic alert foundation (WHich you do have to pay a subscription for if you want to keep your details up to date).

Definitely handy and something worth thinking about for anyone on Meds or with chronic illnesses.
 
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