Since 1956 the Medic Alert Foundation has been helping to save lives by giving dependable medical information to patients who are not in a position to give the information themselves. MedicAlert is also a non-profit organization and they give 24 hour service to those in need.
The first MedicAlert bracelet was made for a teenager who nearly died from an antitoxin that was tested on her skin before being injected into her bloodstream. From that moment she bore a medical alert bracelet that notified medical professionals that she was allergic to Tetanus Antitoxin. Her parents then started the MedicAlert Foundation to help save more lives.
MedicAlert Foundation is a nonprofit organization providing 24-hour emergency medical information and identification service. Their aim is not to make money, but to save lives through a medical information network that will give up to date information to a caregiver or doctor.
The MedicAlert Foundation of Today
In modern times the MedicAlert Foundation provides lifesaving information worldwide to over three million people. They have a dedicated team who are on call at the call centers 24 hours of the day and have on-site trained staff as well to assist in the gathering and handing over of medical history and other medical information which speeds up the process tremendously in the case of an emergency when someone is admitted to hospital.
When your life is in danger, even a minute can seem like a lifetime and it can literally be the difference between life and death. Knowing what you are allergic to and what other medical conditions you may currently have can save your life when you are admitted.
The Heads of MedicAlert
The dedicated team of the MedicAlert Foundation has extensive experience in the medical field and they have been working with non-profit organizations and teams for many years already. Saving the lives of others is the passion of everyone at the foundation from Andrew B. Wigglesworth, the president and CEO right down to the call center staff. The competent heads of all of the different teams strive to make the process seamless, reliable and fast.
Saving Lives through Education
When you are awake and fully conscious, it is easy to relay your medical information to a doctor because you can think clearly, but when it is a medical emergency and you are not conscious and you have none of your family members with you to relay any medical information to the paramedics or the doctor, they are left to the standard procedures which they use to treat everyone.
So many of the members of MedicAlert have conditions and diseases that are extremely rare and it is up to the MedicAlert team to help the medical professionals to identify these individuals so that they are not given medication that may jeopardize their chances of success because it has a negative effect caused by the disease. Medication that may be completely safe and standard procedure may be deadly to these individuals and through the competent and available information network, these professionals can save the lives of those who cannot speak for themselves to prevent the wrong medication being given to them.
How the system works
The information database of the MedicAlert Foundation is updated regularly to contain all of the medical information of the members. For example, should someone with a penicillin allergy contract diabetes and be diagnosed with this disease, they will update their information with MedicAlert which will update the information on the bracelet or medical alert jewelery which the member carries with them at all times. Should the member contract an infection, the diabetes will slow down the healing process and the doctors will be able to tell that it is because of the diabetes and they will also know not to give the person penicillin for the infection.
The jewelry is worn at all times and contains the member’s basic medical information. Medical personnel know to look for these items as a part of their assessment of the patient and if they find one of these items on the casualty, they will call the call center where they will speak to a trained operator who will then relay any information to the health worker who calls so that the person’s life can be saved and so that the professional treating the person will know what to look out for and what medication or treatment to avoid.
The sooner a person’s health details are known, the sooner they can be treated and the better the chances are for them to have a positive outcome.
Some of the information that is captured on the system is:
- Any Medical conditions the person may be suffering from
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications and dosages that the person may be taking regularly, such as chronic medication as this could affect the efficacy of any other medication given to the patient during treatment or could lead to an overdose if the same ingredients are present in the current medication taken as well as the medication administered.
- Allergies of any kind whether it is to insects, medication, food or chemicals
- Implanted medical devices which the patient may have
- Emergency contact persons so that the family members can be informed of the person’s condition and to gather any other additional medical information.
- The person’s regular Physician information so that any recent medical treatments can be discussed.
- Health Insurance information so that the person can be admitted into a hospital and the details is confirmed already.
MedicAlert Is Everywhere You Go Around the World
The MedicAlert Foundation has spread its wings now to over 50 countries around the world which means that they are saving lives, not only in America, but all over the world.
The countries they have branched out to include:
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
All of these countries work together to save the lives that they have vowed to protect and stand united in their cause not matter how great the difference in cultural background.
Having the Right Friends Can Help
The MedicAlert Foundation has alliances with many cause-related organizations that help with the identification of diseases to update the database. These professionals are also part of the global network that makes the MedicAlert Foundation so successful.
There are also quite a few corporate organizations that form part of this network and that help with funding as well, but the MedicAlert Foundation still puts great stock in the help and donations that are received from its members. The donations that are made are used to cover the basic costs of the business side of the MedicAlert, but it is also used to help the less fortunate so that they can also be a part of this successful network.
Doctors and other medical professionals are greatly depended on not just to save the lives of members, but to spread the word of what the MedicAlert products can do for their patients and to help then get in touch with the foundation.
It is because of the help of all of these individuals and corporations that MedicAlert is still growing on a global scale in modern times.
The Young Members of MedicAlert
Because parents cannot be with their children at all times and disaster can strike at the most inopportune times, it is of utmost importance to get parents and children involved in the MedicAlert network. So many children’s lives have been saved because all of their medical information was on hand when their parents were not at the time of admission to hospital. It is often the small ones that are most susceptible to allergies and medication overdoses. It is very important for health care workers to have the entire family medical history on hand so that they know what signs to look for. A child may be allergic to penicillin, but has never needed to take antibiotics, which leaves the allergy undiagnosed. If one of the child’s family members has the same allergy, health care workers can at least do a test run on the child before administering a full dose or they can find an alternative just in case the child is allergic.
In this way, many children’s lives are saved around the world because of the up to date and reliable information network of MedicAlert.
Caring For the Old
The Safe Return product for the elderly will help your loved ones that may get lost due to Alzheimer’s disease. With the Safe return the member gets the assurance that they will get optimal care with all of their medical information being on hand in case of an emergency. The member will also be returned home if they are found wandering which is the main concern that is associated with this disease. The family members of this member will also have the peace of mind that their loved one will be found and will be able to get help in case of an emergency even when they are not present, which is mostly the case. The information of the member is also secure and only medical professionals who are treating the member will be allowed access to the information on the database.
Extra Benefits When You Join
When joining the MedicAlert Foundation you are assured that you get optimal medical care because of the information that is on hand. The member is also issued with a piece of jewelry that identifies them as a member of MedicAlert which is stylish and inconspicuous. You are also registered on the family notification service that will let your family know that you have an emergency so that they can come to your side for moral support. You will also be issued with a wallet card that will identify you as a member and contains the numbers to call in case of an emergency so that you can get the best of care as soon as possible.
Conditions That You May Need MedicAlert For
There are a few conditions for which you should definitely join MedicAlert so that you avoid having complications in hospital.
These include, but are not exclusive to:
- Adrenal insufficiency
- Any Allergies (food, latex, insects, etc.)
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Heart disease
- Any medications that are taken regularly that may have interactions.
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Devices/Implants (artificial heart valves, pacemaker)
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
The MedicAlert Call center has been named in the Top 100 call centers in the world due to outstanding response times and the outstanding service that is given. This is the type of dedication that is fostered within the Foundation that gives all of the employees the drive and motivation to excel at what they do and to go to work in the mornings knowing that they make a big difference in the world by saving one life at a time. Over 5000 calls per day pour into the call center each day and each of these calls are treated with the same sense of dignity and urgency.
The No Child Without Initiative
In Canada the MedicAlert has an initiative that targets the school to make sure that no child with a medical condition or an allergy is without a MedicAlert bracelet. They are currently in 224 schools nationwide and intends to spread out even more as soon as possible, not stopping until each child in need in each schools has been identified and signed up. This, once again, is only possible through the generosity of corporate corporations and individuals.
This once again shows us that even the smallest donation can make a large difference in the life of just one person. If each member can sponsor a member in need, the MedicAlert Foundation will be able to reach its goal of helping each person in need with the services of their information network.