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Old 02-09-2013, 12:34 AM
 
4,761 posts, read 12,870,922 times
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With all this medical privacy stuff lately (HIPAA)...

Can 911 paramedics or emergency room doctors, who are treating someone who is unconscious, find the person's doctor in the person's wallet or purse, then call and get the person's medical information from their doctor?

Like drug allergies, diabetic, prescriptions currently taking, etc.

Or would the doctor refuse to disclose that information because of "privacy" laws, etc.?

(A friend was recently diagnosed with type I diabetes and we got to thinking about what would happen if he went into diabetic coma when he was somewhere by himself. He did get one of those medical alert bracelets...)
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:26 AM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
33,515 posts, read 35,129,485 times
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Keeping Medical Information in the Refrigerator - Medical Information in an Emergency

EMS - Envelope of Life

Here is the Pittsburgh form:

http://www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us/ems...elope_life.pdf

CDHP Courses and Services

Indianapolis EMS educates public on ways to be ready for an emergency

You can also load your information on a thumb drive and put it on your key chain, so it will be with you when you are away from home, too. Just put a note with your ID and insurance card that the thumb drive has your medical history. The thumb drive also allows you to include your powers of attorney for your health care and your "living will."

Remember that HIPAA is not meant to interfere with your receiving medical care. It is to prevent unauthorized release of your information to people who have no need to know it. In an emergency, your doctor should not hesitate to share what the folks who are treating you need to know. However, if an emergency happens when your doctor's office is closed, you need to have the actual information available.

I would suggest calling your local ambulance service to see what it suggests. It may participate in a program similar to one of the ones in the links above.

Another option is to use a subscription service. The service has your medical records and a card directs the EMS personnel to call them. It may cost about $25 per year.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:37 AM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
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Suzy gave you the best answer. Even if you managed to find your doctor at 2 a.m. or on Sunday, etc., no one can remember your history. They would have to drive in to the office (for security no records should be on a laptop) to access your records. Waste of valuable time. I have worn a Medic Alert bracelet for over 20 yrs.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Missouri
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Paramedics are unlikely to take the time to even call your doctor. They don't have time for that. They're going to do their best to stabilize you until you get to a doctor.

ER staff will try to find out what they can, but they also are not going to have a ton of time to devote to finding a lot out. But yes if the hospital calls your doctor, your doctor will give them information. When you signed a consent to treat at your physician's office, it (most likely) included a line or two giving the doctor permission to share your information in urgent situations.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
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Actually, HIPPA has an exception for life-threatening situations IIRC.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:58 PM
 
10,043 posts, read 17,682,218 times
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Doctors barely look at your chart when you're right in front of them, let alone communicate such to a 3rd party during an emergency!

I like Suzy's advice, I have often wondered what would happen if I was in some emergency without a family member to communicate for me. My mother was nearly killed in an ER when they administered a drug which interracted with another drug she was taking, but wasn't able to tell them about.
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