What rescuers don’t know may hurt you!
This is a subject that I have a long history with: trying to sort out a person’s medical history under pressure in a short time. It is particularly difficult when a person is unresponsive or unable to recall key information.
In my near-decade-long work in EMS and as a volunteer firefighter, part of which overlaps my 34 years as a Registered Nurse, it is a situation that has come up quite a few times.
Whether involving the trauma of a motorcycle, snowmobile, or car accident or the pressure of a critical medical condition that’s gone from bad to worse, finding out about the person’s medical history can literally be a life-or-death necessity since some things in their history may determine what should and should not be done.
One solution to help rescuers get the information they need at the point of the first contact is called the Medical Data Carrier (MDC). It is simple, economical, and independent of power sources, apps, or any other technology that could potentially fail at the worst possible time.
The Medical Data Carrier manufacturer says, “the patented carrier is designed to be tamper-proof, aerodynamic, and weatherproof. Used for years by customers in cold snowy conditions, in the hot desert, and at speeds over 180 MPH the MDC can take punishment.”
The data form is preprinted on tear and water-proof synthetic paper and includes information on the wearer’s identity and medical history including information such as allergies (such as bee sting allergies—a lot of us have had the unpleasant experience of getting stung while out on a ride), medications, blood type, and pre-existing medical conditions.
The adhesive pad is non-exothermic so it will not damage the shell of your helmet or other surfaces you may attach it to. Of course, it can be used in a multitude of other ways as well, such as on a backpack, on a bead chain, or other application methods with or without the use of the adhesive attachment.
When EMS or other rescuers can obtain this information right at the scene, it enables the best possible care from the first moment. The “Golden hour” for emergency care is the first hour—it is crucial to successful outcomes. Advanced life support providers and receiving hospital caregivers alike need to know about drug allergies and medications to prevent potential allergic reactions to emergency medications and adverse drug-drug interactions.
Knowing about existing medical conditions and history such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or use of medications such as anticoagulants, anticonvulsants and others can help quickly move care in the right direction.
Product use tips: Use fast-drying black ink on the synthetic paper to avoid smudging it when you fold it; fold it carefully to get a nice, smooth fit in the carrier. The advice on the carrier indicates to use a pencil, but depending on the hardness of the graphite, it may be harder to see, or smudge-prone.
If your helmet has a visor or is a modular, take care to avoid mounting the MDC where it would be out of sight when the visor or chin bar is raised or would interfere with the movement of the visor or parting line of the modular chin-bar. I found a good spot to avoid any potential mistakes in that regard is on the back of my helmet and with the green reflective model, it enhances my hi-viz helmet.
Take your time and write very clearly, you’ll have to write small letters—preferably block letters—it won’t do any good if nobody can read it. If you have an advance directive on your care preferences, indicate that, as well.
Available on Amazon: $4.99 for single item purchase and with a custom imprinted carrier in 15 colors, three languages. Contact for custom bulk purchase for your club, group, association, dealership or business: email@example.com or 1-613-709-2941 for a quote and a no charge mockup of your custom MDC.
For more info, see: https://medicaldatacarrier.com/