Accident Preparedness: Do you have ICE in your cell phone?

Picture this scenario: a woman is seriously injured in a car crash.  Police and rescuers can’t find her wallet, and are not able to identify her immediately.  Unbeknownst to them she has a medical condition, but in the rush to get her to the hospital and attend to her wounds her medical condition isn’t treated and she dies.


This is an extreme case, but illustrates what can happen when emergency responders don’t have all of the information that they need to help their victims.  Finding a seriously injured person who can’t identify him or herself presents just this problem: who are they, who can make medical decisions for them, and do they have any allergies or medical conditions that responders should know about?


One solution is supported by AAA – add an emergency contact to your cell phone or address book.  The emergency contact is entered under ICE, which stands for “In Case of Emergency”.  For example, John Doe could enter his wife as his ICE contact this way: ICE Jane Doe 555-111-2222.


If John was involved in an auto accident, paramedics could check his cell phone and call Jane Doe.  Jane could tell them John’s full name and age, and that he is a diabetic who takes medicine to control his epilepsy, and that he is allergic to penicillin.  This is very important information for emergency health providers to have, and could potentially save his life.


When rescuers see that a person has an ICE contact, they can call immediately to find out information about the victim.  Here are some additional steps that you can take to make sure this system works:

  1.  Let your ICE contact know that you are adding them to your cell phone as an emergency contact.  This way, if emergency responders call them, they will know what information they need to provide.
  2. Make sure your ICE contact has the following information: your full name, date of birth, home address, blood type, medical conditions, allergies, or other relevant medical information.


Finally, keep in mind that if your phone is damaged or if you lock the keyboard when it is not in use then this system won’t work.  Keep your ICE contact information somewhere else, for example on a card in your wallet or in the glove compartment.


No matter how careful you are, car and truck accidents happen every day, leading to injuries and sadly, fatalities.  If you or someone you know has been hurt by a negligent driver, you may wish to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about the situation.  Please don’t hesitate to contact the personal injury attorneys at Tavss Fletcher to discuss your case and find out how we can help.



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