This handy card can save your life!

DURING an emergency, conveying vital information about a person's medical history to a paramedic or doctor, is a matter of life or death.

Often first-aid providers are forced to treat accident victims without having basic medical information about the individual or are unable to contact someone who could provide crucial information.

Realising this, the Malaysian Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association (MVFRA) has introduced a data card which contains a comprehensive personal medical profile of an individual.

The Emergency Data Card could be a life-saver for patients who may not be able to give medics all the information they need to provide proper medical care.

The card, said to be the first in the country, was launched recently by Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Suleiman Mohamed. It was distributed to the public for free.

"The card, which is the same size as our identity card contains vital medical data so in case of illness or an accident, the medical personnel can easily obtain the information," said Capt K. Balasupramaniam, founder and chairman of MVFRA. "Even if we are unable to communicate with anyone, the proper treatment can begin right away and help save a life.

"Our members often come across traumatised accident victims who cannot communicate such vital information and this results in delayed or improper medical treatment, which can sometimes be fatal.

"Sometimes, these victims cannot even tell us their contact numbers.

"Many people with serious ailments are shy to wear their medical ID bracelets. As a replacement, they can carry this card." The card contains the individuals personal particulars such as contact numbers, their blood group and current medical condition.

"It will make it easier for the medics to attend to the victims. For instance, we would not know if an accident victim is a heart or diabetic patient, or if they are allergic to a particular medication. We will have to depend on their family members or their family doctor for such information.

"This is a waste of time. With all this information on the card, we can treat the patient immediately." He said 5,000 cards were distributed to the public on the day of the launch while 20,000 were distributed later nationwide.

"Carry it with you at work, on vacation, or even when you are just taking a stroll around your neighbourhood. You'll feel more secure knowing emergency medical personnel will have access to your data and can administer appropriate care without delay," he said.

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