Having access to important health information can save lives

If you were involved in a serious accident or suddenly became ill, would you be able to tell emergency personnel about your medical conditions, allergies and medications? Would you be able to let them know how to reach your family or your preference in hospitals and physicians?

With a Lifeteam Alert membership, you have a valuable tool right at your fingertips that can do the speaking for you. Lifeteam Alert is a simple, yet effective solution that gives skilled medical professionals access to your personal medical information at a time when it is needed most.

Lifeteam Alert members store their personal health data, including information about medical conditions, allergies and medications, in a secure database at the Lifeteam Alert Emergency Call Center. When a medical crisis occurs, emergency personnel can call a phone number, printed on the member’s personal Lifeteam Alert bracelet or card carried in the member’s purse or wallet, and gain access to that health information. The medical information on file can be relayed directly to emergency personnel at the scene of the medical emergency, or to a hospital where the patient is being transported.

The Lifeteam Alert program is a service of Air Evac Lifeteam, an air ambulance company with more than 20 years of experience in the emergency health services field.

“As an emergency health care provider, our crews often see the need for access to valuable patient medical information,” said Air Evac Lifeteam President Colin Colins. “Lifeteam Alert is a response to this need.

“Thousands of people die needlessely each year due to preventable medical errors, many of which could have been prevented if the caregiver had correct medical information about the patient,” Collins explained. “Giving emergency medical personnel access to this information at the earliest possible time enables them to make faster and safer decisions about a patient’s diagnosis and treatment.”

Emergency physicians say medical bracelets are one of the oldest, yet most underutilized, medical tools available.

James Spiller, M.D., an emergency medicine physician in Indiana, said the Lifeteam Alert system is a major advance in providing care for emergency patients.

“The Lifeteam Alert system will enable those of us in the Emergency Department to have immediate access to a patient’s medical information,” Dr. Spiller said. “Many times the patient is unable to give us that information, and it slows down the process of providing the proper care for that patient.”

When a person registers as a Lifeteam Alert member, their key medical information is gathered and entered into the Lifeteam Alert database. The member is given a Lifeteam Alert pendant, bracelet or key ring tag, along with a car sticker, house sticker and a plastic membership card for their purse or wallet. These items will alert emergency professionals at the scene to call the Lifeteam Alert Emergency Call Center. Trained professionals are available to take their calls 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Lifeteam Alert memberships require a one-time $15 set-up fee and an annual $15 service to provide the service and maintain the member’s medical information. You can update your medical information at any time at no added expense.

For more information about the Lifeteam Alert program, or to sign up for membership, call 1-877-888-8810.

From the Sept. 28-Oct. 4, 2005, issue

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