May is MedicAlert Month - Canadians warned of danger of imitation medical ID bracelets

Monday, May 1, 2017 General News
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"If it doesn't say MedicAlert on the ID, it's not MedicAlert"

TORONTO, May 1, 2017 /CNW/ -

To recognize MedicAlert Month this May, Canada's largest membership-based registered charity is urging Canadians to beware of look-a-like medical bracelets when purchasing MedicAlert medical IDs for themselves and/or
loved ones.

"One in three Canadians now live with a medical condition that needs to be communicated to an emergency responder during a medical emergency," says Robert Ridge, President and CEO of MedicAlert Foundation Canada. "Whether they're suffering from peanut allergy or a complex heart condition, it's critically important that Canadians wear a medical ID that can help save their life. The danger, of course, arises when someone is wearing a MedicAlert look-a-like bracelet that does not offer 24/7 Emergency Hotline service or globally-recognized medical terminology engraving, so paramedics and hospital staff do not have the comprehensive information they need when seconds count."

Having protected more than 1 million Canadians for over 55 years, MedicAlert is the only medical ID service to provide a 24/7 emergency hotline which relays key medical information to emergency responders within an average of five seconds of a call, in 140 languages. MedicAlert also employs trained medical professionals to analyze health information and propose the critical elements to inscribe on a person's ID, ensuring the identification adheres to the globally-accepted medical standards critically relied upon by emergency responders. By offering clearly labelled medical ID bracelets with the name "MedicAlert" on the front, and providing exclusive Family Notification service, MedicAlert ensures that, no matter where the person is, their loved ones know where they are and can be kept up-to-date during an emergency.

"When assessing someone at the scene of an emergency, one of the first things I look for is a MedicAlert medical ID; it's the medical ID that I trust the most in emergencies," says physician, paramedic and MedicAlert board member, Blair Bigham. "If I don't have the right information, I can't make the right decision.  And, because I trust the information MedicAlert provides, I use it to help make the best clinical decision in a life threatening situation."

As part of the organization's charitable mission, MedicAlert Foundation Canada offers a number of life-saving programs:

  • Look – Read – Call! – Ensuring that emergency professionals across the country are aware of the patient information available on each MedicAlert ID, this training program offers current and future emergency personnel seminars and Training Medical Profiles and sample IDs, helping them provide the right treatment at the right time.   
  • MedicAlert Connect Protect – This one-of-a-kind service gives emergency responders, healthcare providers and police departments quick and secure, 24/7 access to a MedicAlert subscriber's electronic medical profile. Ideal for safeguarding loved ones who may wander, such as those with Alzheimer's or other dementias, and for those living with a medical condition that could require immediate and focused attention in an emergency. MedicAlert Connect Protect is now available in a growing number of communities across Canada (Abbotsford Police, Durham Police, Hamilton Police, Nova Scotia Emergency Health Services, Owen Sound Police, Vancouver Police), with even more partnerships currently in the works.
  • Membership Assistance provides partial or full financial assistance for MedicAlert IDs and service plans for eligible Canadians who cannot afford MedicAlert protection. MedicAlert never turns away anyone in need of the service.
  • No Child Without helps ensure that eligible children (aged 4-14) attending public and Catholic schools with medical conditions receive free MedicAlert protection.

Learn more about all of the charitable and educational initiatives run by MedicAlert Foundation Canada here.

About MedicAlert Foundation Canada

MedicAlert Foundation Canada (MAFCA) is the largest membership-based registered charity in Canada and it is the leading provider of emergency medical information services. MedicAlert's mission is to ensure that all Canadians have access to high-quality health information at times of need, and have protected more than one million Canadians since 1961.

MedicAlert® is backed by robust electronic health records maintained by medically trained professionals, a state-of-the-art secure database, and a 24/7 Emergency Hotline that answers calls from emergency responder personnel in 140 languages within an average of 5 seconds, all linked to customized identification products for Canadians with medical conditions and special needs. Universally recognized and respected, MedicAlert speaks for you, when you can't™.

Learn more about MedicAlert, how it works, and how you or a loved one can sign up to a service plan by visiting medicalert.ca or calling 1.855.581.3796.

SOURCE MedicAlert Foundation Canada



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