Senior Living Q & A

Q. Yesterday I was at an event when another lady passed out. 911 was called immediately, but when looking through her purse, no emergency contact information or list of medications was found. Fortunately when she regained consciousness, she was able to tell the paramedics her daughter's name and phone number. Would you please remind us of the information we should all carry with us?Yesterday I was at an event when another lady passed out. 911 was called immediately, but when looking through her purse, no emergency contact information or list of medications was found. Fortunately when she regained consciousness, she was able to tell the paramedics her daughter's name and phone number. Would you please remind us of the information we should all carry with us?

— Sara, La Crescenta

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Thank you for your suggestion. This is a topic we all need to be aware of. No matter our age, if we take prescription medications, we should carry a list of them in our wallet. If you have access to your medical insurance information on computer, you may be able to print out a list. That way, in case of an emergency, the paramedics are not working blindly. This list should also include any allergies you may have, as well as religious beliefs that may prohibit particular types of medical procedures, such as blood transfusions. You should also have your health insurance card in your wallet.

You can also get a Medic Alert bracelet which would be engraved with pertinent medical information and linked to a 24/7/365 service that would have your medications and a more complete medical history on file.

An emergency contact person is also very important. If you have a cell phone, the best way to do this is to enter the acronym “ICE” which stands for “In Case of Emergency” and then enter the numbers of the person or persons you would want contacted immediately. Emergency personnel are trained to look for this on cellphones. If you don't carry a cellphone, then you should have a card in your wallet listing who to be contacted in case of emergency.

Having this information close at hand saves the emergency personnel valuable time while attending to your needs.


NANCY TURNEY received a bachelor's degree in social work and a certificate in gerontology. If you have a specific question you would like answered in this column, e-mail it to lcnews@valleysun.net or call Turney at the Crescenta-Cañada YMCA, 790-0123, ext. 225.

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