An "in case of emergency" form can be an important tool used to identify contacts and medical providers for someone who is suffering a health emergency.
You can place an "in case of emergency" form on your refrigerator or in your vehicle to assist first responders during a call. The form typically includes the names of family members and friends, along with their respective phone numbers, as well as details about health care providers and hospital preferences.
In a child care or school setting, an "in case of emergency" form often provides permission from a parent for caregivers to obtain or perform emergency care for a child.
In case of emergency (ICE) for smartphone users
If something happens to you when you’re away from home and you’re unable to communicate to your family, or to the people caring for you in an emergency, how would the emergency responders know whom to contact? How would they know about any allergies or conditions you might have? How would they know if you’re an organ donor?
Having your emergency contact and medical information in your smartphone can help emergency responders, such as paramedics, firefighters, police officers, and hospital personnel, quickly identify your next of kin and obtain important medical information about you that could help save your life.
But what if your phone is locked? It’s important to make sure the information is still accessible to an emergency responder. Take a few minutes to set up ICE on your own phone and encourage friends and family members to do the same.
How to set up ICE if you have an iPhone
- Open the Apple Health app, which is installed on all iOS devices running iOS 8 or later. This app cannot be uninstalled.
- Tap on Medical ID in the bottom right corner.
- Tap Create Medical ID.
- At the very top, make sure Show When Locked is turned on (to green). Fill in as much information as is relevant to you. If you have no known allergies or you’re not taking medications, type in “none” or “none known” so that medical personnel don’t assume you’ve overlooked these fields.
- Assign at least one person as your emergency contact person. This person’s contact information must already be saved in your Contacts app in order for the Health app to be able to include it.
- Tap Done to save.
How to set up ICE if you have an Android
Depending on which phone and version of Android, you might have an emergency contact feature in your phone’s setting. Check there first. It might be under a sub-menu such as My Information. Putting your information in here will result in a free form string of text scrolling across your locked screen.
If you prefer an app (and greater visual appeal), download the In Case of Emergency app by Sylvain Lagache in your Play Store. This is one of the few Android apps that will allow access to your emergency information when your screen is locked.
Once you’ve downloaded the app:
- Fill in as much information as is relevant to you. If you have no known allergies and are not taking medication, it still helps to write “none” or “none known” so that medical personnel don’t assume you’ve overlooked these fields. Hit the check mark to save.
- Add your emergency contact people starting with the most important one. Hit the check mark to save.
- Close the application.
Be sure to share this information and guidance with friends and family members who can also benefit from having ICE in their smartphones.