Awareness and First Aid

What if you were involved in a medical emergency and were unable to speak for yourself?

Having access to in-case-of-emergency (ICE) information helps ER24’s first responders contact your next of kin and get vital medical details as quickly as possible.

Help ER24 to help you most effectively

In-case-of-emergency (ICE) contacts are the people you select for others to call when you can’t communicate. If you’re in a car accident, have lost consciousness, had a seizure, or are in any other medical situation that leaves you unable to communicate, your ICE emergency contacts help ER24’s first responders and healthcare professionals know who to contact and any medical background they need.

What do I include in my ICE information?

  • Emergency contact/s name and relationship to you
  • Emergency contact phone numbers
  • Allergies
  • Any medical conditions
  • Medicines you take
  • Blood type
  • Your address.

Choosing your ICE contacts

Of course, you want your next of kin to be informed in an emergency. But also consider the most suitable individual/s to receive contact from healthcare professionals and speak to them on your behalf.

Always delegate one person (or more) who knows about any medical conditions or allergies you have, blood type, medications you take, or past medical treatments – and can relay details clearly to paramedics or doctors in an emergency. It can make a significant difference if medical professionals can quickly access this vital information. 

You may also consider giving your next of kin/other family member power of attorney to make medical decisions on your behalf should you be unable to. You can appoint more than one person, e.g., your spouse, adult child, sibling, or other responsible individual.

ICE storage options

Always keep your ICE numbers and information with you. You could keep an ICE card in your wallet, wear an ICE bracelet or pendant, place a sticker on the back of your phone, or add a tag to your key ring. If you participate in sports, a variety of silicone and Velcro wristbands are available. You may even want to get a tag that attaches to your shoe.

For those with a specific condition, such as diabetes or epilepsy, or an allergy, having a personalised MedicAlert identification bracelet/pendant will alert ER24’s emergency medical response team to your primary health conditions, medications, allergies, or implanted medical devices, such as a pacemaker. 

Many people store ICE numbers in their phone, but this should only be a backup option. Dr Vernon Wessels, an ER24 Site Based Medical Doctor, explains why: “Paramedics prioritise immediate care and transportation of the patient to the closest appropriate hospital,” he says. “Cell phones may have locked screens, passwords, or damage incurred during an accident. Also, not all patients have their phones on hand during an emergency or possess phones at all. In such cases, the receiving hospital or law enforcement will help to identify and reach out to the next of kin.”

If you’re a member of a medical aid scheme, always keep your membership card on you; it may help first responders make a quicker decision on the most appropriate facility to transfer you.

In any emergency call ER24 on 084 124 for real help, real fast.