Telling friends and family about medical conditions can sometimes be difficult, especially if the diagnosis is something that is life-altering (for example, a terminal illness such as cancer), but making them aware can also be crucial in the event that an emergency occurs and you are unable to speak or make decisions for yourself. This is also known as an Advance Care Plan. If you suffer from conditions like asthma, severe allergies, or diabetes, you can also purchase a MedicAlert bracelet – a product that, for over 55 years, has been providing Canadians, their families, and emergency responders with lifesaving information.
The idea of MedicAlert first came about in 1953 when a teenager by the name of Linda Collins presented to an emergency room after cutting her finger. As with many types of wounds like this, the hospital gave her a tetanus shot. However, she had an allergic reaction to that shot and went into anaphylactic shock – a condition that develops as a result of the body’s reaction to an allergen in which it is hypersensitive to, leading to things like difficulty swallowing and breathing. After this horrifying experience, Linda began carrying around a custom-made ID bracelet engraved with her medical needs, and healthcare professionals and organizations from all across Canada began to realize that having such rapid access to someone’s medical needs could be crucial in saving their life.
Thought the years, MedicAlert has gone from being more than just bracelets. Not only are they available for men and women of all ages (including children), but they’re also available as watches, necklaces, and even pedometers for those who are out and active a lot. MedicAlert also offers something known as GPS Guardian– a device that is integrated with the MedicAlert system and keeps family members connected with loved ones. In addition, it also gives loved ones comfort in knowing that their family member can call for help in the event of an emergency by a simple press of the SOS button, alerts family members of potential falls, offers real-time GPS location tracking, and access to trained professionals at a 24/7 emergency response centre who will be able to contact friends, family, and emergency responders on the patient’s behalf.
MedicAlert is recommended for those who live with one or more of the following:
• Allergies to animals, latex, nuts, insect bites/stings and medications.
• Individuals who take certain medications, such as beta-blockers, blood thinners, immunosuppressants, insulin, or are undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
• Have certain medical conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, asthma, autism, epilepsy and heart disease.
• Have any medical devices, such as a pacemaker, artificial heart valve, cochlear implants, hearing aids, insulin pumps, stents, shunts or pins.