Filed under: Preparation & Readiness, RVing & Camping Apps 2011, Safety on the Road, Traveling Tips, Uncategorized
I.C.E. – In Case of Emergency Information & Apps for your Smartphone
This week I chose to write about a serious issue; having enough emergency information available on your person, if your are ill or injured and unable to speak, to give police and emergency caregivers the kind of information they need that might save your life or meet your wishes.
Especially if you have a chronic illness, but even if you’re healthy, you might find yourself unconscious in an emergency room following a vehicular accident. If so, seconds count. While caregivers rush about, trying to stabilize you, one of them will be looking for pertinent information about you that might help them save critical time and avoid doing anything that might make your condition even worse.
Their knowing what your current medical condition is, what medications you might be taking and who to contact on your behalf could save your life. There are a number of ways to do this; writing the important information down on a small slip of paper or a card, to be carried in your wallet, is one way. Immediate care givers are trained to look for this. But what if your wallet has been misplaced during the commotion or you’re a drowning victim from a boating trip; they might not be able to find the information that they need soon enough. BTW, if you’re in a boat, I assume you have your wallet and phone in a ZipLoc bag.
Another serious subject is your right to refuse extraordinary care. If you have a prior condition or are damaged so severely that you don’t want extraordinary care (as in being kept alive by machines), the doctors need to know that.
Another issue is whether you want to donate any or all of your organs upon your death. This decision needs to be made within minutes of your death in order to have viable organs available for donation. You may also want your religious needs known.
These are not pleasant subjects, but for RVers, who may be thousands of miles away from other family or decision makers, they are necessary issues to think about. Even if you travel with your wife or other family members or friends, if the worst happens… Well, in all the confusion that would occur, it’s best to have this kind of information clearly available and not being asked of an injured or panicked fellow traveler. A will can be read anytime after your death; it can wait, but critical immediate care knowledge cannot.
If you have a smartphone, any one of the many that are now on the market, you can also create a shortcut to a small text file stored in the phone that provides all of the necessary information. Call it “ICE;” In Case of Emergency, for example. I’ve read that emergency room personnel are trained to look for it. Yes, they’ll also go through your wallet or purse if they have it, so, hopefully, they’ll find that small note, too.
But, speaking of Smartphones, you can use it to provide an ICE notification as well as satisfy your inner geekyness. Apps, short for applications, provide a single click access to a clearly structured, flexible, easily updatable ICE file. I have a BlackBerry. My ICE file uses this icon and provides a lot of pre-labled sections as well as an “important notes” section for whatever additional information you might want to provide (such as organ donation instructions). It’s available from “Apps for BlackBerry.” There are various other apps offering the same sort of support available at this site. “Emergency Information” from Apps for Blackberry is a free download. Other apps cost from nothing to just a few dollars.
Some screenshots to show you how my App looks and works:
Till Next Time,