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ICE or “in case of emergency” is an effort that will save lives and provide prompt necessary medical care to persons in emergency medical circumstances. It can provide emergency personnel that the medical health information about the person, such as blood type and current medications which could be stored under the ICE entry. An ICE program can be implemented with little or no cost to residents, local governments or businesses.
Accidents in the United States are the leading cause of death for persons under 35 years of age; and across the United States in 2002, there were 161,269 deaths, 1.8 million hospital discharges, 33 million emergency room visits, and 82.3 million other outpatient visits as a result of injury; and the number of Kentucky highway fatalities increased over 15 percent from 789 in 2001 to 911 in 2004; and the risk of injury is so great that the majority of people will sustain a significant injury at some time during their lives; and the high number of accidents and the increasing number of fatalities due to them create an urgent need for important information to be more readily available to those persons who are the first to arrive at an accident scene.
There are over 300 million users in the United States today. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that emergency room patients could not provide contact information because they were incapacitated. Many individuals leave the home each day without any identification or emergency contact information, yet carry a cell phone.
How does it work? The name of the person would be stored under the prefix “ICE” on your personal phone number list on you cell phone. It is on the top and has a red cross “In Case of Emergency.” You can put your name and two people that can answer questions about your health. This would only be used by emergency and other medical personnel at an accident and injury scenes who may need critical information to save the life of the unconscious or unresponsive person, but the responder may not have access to the information due to the person’s failure to carry health documents at the time of the injury.
It is recommended that you carry contact information and relevant medical information in writing inside your wallet, purse, bracelet or dogtags and not rely entirely on ICE contacts.