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The 'MEDICARD'

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Providing information where it's needed mostThe MEDICARD provides all the essential information needed by a hospital on admittance of a patient to the A&E Dept. It also provides a source of information to ambulance staff, Pharmacists, and medical staff in any part of the world. All the relative information is contained on a laminated card the size of a standard credit card, which means it can be carried in a wallet or purse. The MEDICARD is clearly marked as containing important medical information.

Background to the development of the 'MEDICARD'It has always been a problem in A&E Departments of hospitals that when a person is admitted in an emergency situation, especially in an unconscious state, certain information is required which is not always readily available. Information such as: Who is the next of kin? and what is their relationship to the patient'.' Does the patient have a previous medical history? e.g. do they have a history of cardiac disease? What, if any, medicines are being taken and at what dosage? Is the patient allergic to anything, etc.? Trying to find this information can be very time consuming. If the medical staff arc lucky the patient may have a contact address in their wallet or purse, otherwise vital time is lost trying to find someone who knows the patient.

Even when a person is admitted as an outpatient, especially the nervous and elderly patients, trying to remember a telephone number, address, what medication is being taken, and what they are allergic to, can be very traumatic at what is for most people, a very worrying time.

As a solution to this problem, members of Heartbeat at Ipswich have developed the MEDICARD and have kindly offered it to be available for Upbeat members as well. It can be provided once a simple application form is filled out. A small charge is made to cover the cost of information retrieval and production. Information is only saved with the permission of the patient for card updates in the case of a change of medication or address, etc.

Production Over 200 cards have been produced for Upbeat members at a very subsidised cost. The cards have proved to be a resounding success with continual praise being given by the medical fraternity on the amount of time saved by nurses on admissions. Having a person's name and address, information on medication taken, next of kin. and hospital telephone number all clearly printed out on a card saves in most cases at least half an hour of a intake nurses time. Time spent in questioning and referring to other sources such as doctor's surgeries, the patient's home, or by in-depth questioning of the patient themselves (if possible). The cards have also proved useful in asking for 'over the counter' medication. The MEDICARD enables the pharmacists to provide the right medication without the risk of clashing with the patient's own medication. It has also proved useful when applying/filling out forms, etc for insurance, benefits, or physical help.

People Consulted Some of the people who have been consulted in the production of the MEDICARD card include:

Triage staff at A&E Dept - Ipswich Hospital

Cardiac nursing staff- Ipswich Hospital

Reception staff- Papworth Hospital

Mr. J Wallwork - Cardiac Surgeon,Papworth Hospital

Various outpatient nurses at Ipswich Hospital e.g. The Endoscopy Unit

Pharmacists: Boots, Co-op. Sainsbury's, Superdrug and other Independent Chemist Shops.

For for further information please contact :- David Camp Via our online form, or Tel: 01787 376723

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