Canadian MedicAlert Foundation

Canadian MedicAlert Foundation

February 16, 2012 10:08 ET

MedicAlert "Hearts" Canadians

MedicAlert Urges Canadians Suffering From Heart Disease to Be Better Prepared in Case of Emergencies

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 16, 2012) - You keep aspirin in your medicine cabinet, broccoli and nutritious foods in your fridge, but if you are one of the millions of Canadians who suffer from heart disease or high blood pressure, what are you doing to protect yourself in case of a medical emergency?

Research shows that, while the risk is higher in the US, around the world, people that have been hospitalized for an acute heart condition are the most likely to be readmitted within 30 days.

"Paramedics respond to cardiac-related emergency calls on a regular basis and when they arrive on scene they need to know the patient's exact medical history to ensure they are taking the right course of action," says Dr. Eric Letovsky, Chief of the Emergency Department at Credit Valley Hospital, in Mississauga, Ontario. "For heart patients, the information provided by MedicAlert can be critical and literally mean the difference between life and death."

The Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada recommends that people with heart conditions consider purchasing a MedicAlert ID as part of their emergency action plan.

According to Dr. Letovsky, MedicAlert can help you be prepared in an emergency by telling paramedics:

  1. What medications you are currently taking
  • Knowing exactly what medication a heart patient is on when paramedics arrive on scene at an emergency can be crucial. Common heart medications can be extremely harmful when interacting with other medications. For example, patients with a cardiac arrhythmia, called atrial fibrillation, are at high risk for stroke and are commonly treated by anticoagulants. The major risk of anticoagulants is bleeding, and it is critical for EMS and emergency departments to know if a patient is on this medication.
  1. Your exact medical condition
  • In an emergency situation, paramedics and ER doctors must know exactly what your current and previous medical conditions are so that they can properly assess and treat you.
  1. That MedicAlert will call your emergency contacts
  • The unique MedicAlert Family Notification service will directly contact a member's loved ones listed as emergency contacts immediately after paramedics call the 24-hour hotline.

Keep your MedicAlert records up-to-date

MedicAlert is the only medical ID on the market that has a 24/7 emergency hotline providing paramedics with access to a patient's full medical history, however this information is only useful if it's up-to-date. MedicAlert recommends that members update their files annually, or as changes arise.

Visit MedicAlert.ca and click on Update or call 1.866.679.3166 to review your information with a trained medical specialist.

Sign up for MedicAlert

Visit MedicAlert.ca or call 1.866.679.3166 to sign up yourself or a loved one for a MedicAlert membership.

About the Canadian MedicAlert Foundation

The Canadian MedicAlert Foundation is the largest membership-based registered charity in Canada and has been the provider of emergency medical information services to more than one million Canadians for 50 years.

While there are a number of medical ID devices on the market, only MedicAlert is supported by a unique 24/7 emergency hotline service staffed with medical professionals ready to provide information and recognize conflicting treatments and medications that could put your care at risk.

The Foundation's services include electronic health records, a state-of-the-art secure database, a 24-hour emergency hotline for EMS personnel and customized identification products. Learn more about MedicAlert, how it works, and how you or a loved one can become a member at MedicAlert.ca or by calling 1-866-679-3166.

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