Figuring out how best to treat an incapacitated patient and finding relatives to notify can be like investigative work for paramedics and emergency medical technicians.
Responders search for clues about patients' medical conditions, medications they're taking or allergies they have, says Matt Zavadsky, MedStar's director of operations. They rummage through purses and wallets for hints of their emergency contacts.
"We're basically in the dark when we get there," Zavadsky said.
To change that, MedStar is encouraging potential patients to register for the Invisible Bracelet, a program that lets emergency responders quickly view on laptops a person's medical history and notify relatives via e-mail, phone or text message that their loved one is being hospitalized.
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For a $5 annual registration fee, patients go to www.invisiblebracelet.org and create profiles in the Invisible Bracelet medical registry. They can share, for example, whether they are diabetic or have a history of heart attacks and what medications they cannot tolerate.
MedStar signed up for access to the registry about a month ago.
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