"Fear is palpable...make no mistake, I saw it on the faces... heard it in the voices, as I approached my daughters school. Can someone help?...help!... we need some help! A crowd had gathered...does anyone know anything about this woman? someone asked. Look in her purse...a quick search from a bystander revealed nothing. There, just outside the middle school entrance, lay an elderly woman, unconscious, experiencing a medical emergency, and all of us just stood there...helpless."
Have you ever felt powerless to help someone during a medical emergency? To provide even the slightest bit of information that might make a difference in a victims outcome or possibly save a life. Well you're not alone. Most of us who've ever witnessed a medical emergency up close rarely forget it.
Its a shock to our system - its grounds us...makes us realize our vulnerability and cherish the ones closest to us. Medical emergencies happen every day, without warning. Whether we want to accept it or not, the possibility of an unexpected medical event hangs over all of us, our loved ones, our friends.
But for older adults the possibility of a medical emergency dramatically increases. Age brings with it many things, knowledge, maturity and wisdom, but it also brings chronic disease, deteriorating cognitive skills and reduced physical strength. A broken hip, annoying to a youthful generation can have life threatening consequences for an older adult.
That's why its vitally important that all of us - particularly older adults, create and carry some form of medical ID. Medical Information cards are inexpensive and easy to fill out and they keep our unique medical history relevant and available to emergency medical personnel when we need it most.
"Critical decisions about your health are made in the first few minutes of your emergency care," says James Kelley an ER physician and Co-Founder of miCARD, a medical information solution that combines a wallet card and online PHR, "If you are unconscious or incapacitated, emergency personnel have no knowledge of existing medical conditions, critical medications or other important details which could improve your care or possibly save your life."