Parents able to “speak up” for their child’s health in an emergency

Posted: 11 August 2010

Parents able to “speak up” for their child’s health in an emergency

Parents of children with life-threatening or ongoing health conditions can ensure they get the right help in an emergency by “speaking through MedicAlert”.

MedicAlert chief executive Murray Lord says a MedicAlert bracelet or necklace on a child can ensure emergency responders always have the right information about a child’s medical condition and can provide the most effective treatment.

“The MedicAlert emblem gives parents the chance to ‘speak up’ for their child’s needs even when they are not with them. First the emblem identifies the child has a condition and then additional medical information can be made available electronically or over the phone to appropriate emergency services using the MedicAlert Emblem as a ‘break glass’ device, so the best treatment can be identified.”

“Time and time again our member parents are seeing real benefits in using MedicAlert’s service to protect their small children.”

“Feedback from parents is that they can feel unjustifiably judged by the community as being paranoid when they have to repeatedly detail their child’s medical condition and what needs to happen in the event of an emergency to carers, schools and community and sports groups.”

“When the child is provided with MedicAlert it ceases to be about the parent – it’s all about the health welfare and safety of the child. People’s attitudes change, they become helpful, considerate, aware and empowered to help.”

Parents can also take advantage of MedicAlert’s new MedicAlert Patient Vitals electronic health record to view their child’s medical records online and track their health over time.

Patient Vitals is an opt-in national electronic health record service allowing users to log-in and see their vital health information.

“With this secure web-based system, any individual that has opted into the service can securely access it at anytime and from anywhere in the country – or the world.

“Until now though it has been hard for a parent to readily access their child’s medical information, it has typically ended up in a clinician’s paper files, or in several clinicians’ files. MedicAlert Patient Vitals means the information is accessible using a secure personal login (like banking software) and available on demand.”

The basic Patient Vitals service is covered by the non-profit organisation’s annual membership fee of only $30 and a one-off joining fee which can include a free MedicAlert Bracelet and Medical Emergency Wallet card.

Clinical referrals to MedicAlert can occur soon after birth for example with a child that is born with a heart condition or respiratory risks such as asthma.

“With MedicAlert young people and their families feel safer and more at ease with life

– MedicAlert is good for their health and sense of wellbeing.”

“When a person uses MedicAlert’s service they are not only acting in their own best interests, they are also acting responsibly in the interests of our country as a whole. A small investment in MedicAlert’s service can have lifelong patient and health service benefits,”says Lord.

For more information about MedicAlert or to initiate the enrolment process go to:


MedicAlert background

MedicAlert is a non-profit organisation with international affiliates around the world. MedicAlert was established in New Zealand in 1962 and maintains a database of members' vital medical information that is made available to medical authorities in the event of an emergency. Members supply critical medical data to the organisation and receive a distinctive metal bracelet or necklace tag which is worn at all times. It can be used by law enforcement or emergency medical personnel to access their vital medical history and special medical needs when an incident occurs. MedicAlert currently has 132,500 members in New Zealand.

Membership by age for MedicAlert

Age Group  Percent  

0   to 10       2.09%  
10 to 20       6.34%  
20 to 30       8.65%  
30 to 40       12.89%  
40 to 50       15.07%  
50 to 60       13.77%  
60 to 70       15.60%  
70 to 80       13.58%  
Over 80       12.00%  

Total           100.00%  



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