Archive for November 20th, 2008


In Case of Emergency: ICE

aug3105-ambulanceI worked as an ER nurse for two years and part of my job was to take shifts in riding the ambulance whenever necessary. When attending to an accident scene, we usually needed to check the victim’s belongings to check for his identity. This is important especially if the victim is unable to think due to confusion, or is unconscious to be able to speak or dictate phone numbers of relatives who need to be contacted.


During my time, we usually search the victim’s wallet for identification and telephone numbers. But that was many years ago when the use of cell phones is not as much as it is nowadays.


I came across a personal safety campaign related to this from Aidisan recently and it is called the ICE (In Case of Emergency) Campaign. The idea is to enter in your cell phone’s address book the name and phone number of the person you want to be contacted “In Case of Emergency.” As hundreds of names could be listed in your Contacts List, the names of contact persons should be entered under the name ICE, so that the emergency services will be able to locate easily who your next of kin are and be able to contact them quickly.


In case of more than one contact person, the other names should be listed under ICE1, ICE2, ICE3 and so on.


Locating a relative during an emergency is important not only to be able to relay what happened to you, but also to find out from your nearest kin if there are other things that need to be considered in your case, such as if you have any preexisting medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, or cardiac problems. The relative might also be able to provide vital information such as the name of medications you are currently taking, if you have some food or drug allergies, or if you are wearing implants such as pacemakers or AV fistulas.


Nowadays, paramedics usually turn to a victim’s cell phone to find clues for that person’s identity. So to make it easier for the responders to get the information they need, people are encouraged to adopt this ICE idea.


It would only take a few moment to do this on your cell phones. You never know, by so doing, this could save your life or could put a loved one’s mind at rest. Please help spread  this campaign.



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Health posts here are the author's opinion and should not be taken as professional advice. It is still best to consult your physician. Posts in this site protect patient confidentiality, so if you have any concerns regarding any of the nursing posts, please send me a message and I will be happy to address them.

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