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Medical information card can save your life

Medical information card can save your life

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BLOOMINGTON - You've been in a car wreck, and as you're fading in and out of consciousness, you're unable to tell rescue personnel that you have a heart condition and are allergic to penicillin.

If you're lucky, rescue workers will find that information in your wallet.

It could save your life.

"It (medical information inside a wallet) can provide some basic health-care information on how to better treat you," said Kathy Haig, director of quality resource management at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington.

While Haig advises everybody to carry some sort of medical information, she said it's especially important for those taking multiple medications.

"It increases the accuracy of what we know so we can better treat you," Haig said.

A "Take Charge" personal health information card might be just the thing.

A collaborative project, the cards contain the OSF St. Joseph and BroMenn Healthcare logos and are available, among other places, at both hospitals, at pharmacies and primary-care physician offices.

"They are there for the taking. If you don't see them you should ask," Haig said.

She said the cards have room for such information as name, date of birth, next of kin, physician, past surgeries, allergies and medical insurance, and they fold into the size of a credit card.

Steve Pinneke, director of pharmacy at BroMenn, said the cards "provide some means of communication" and could save lives.

Pinneke carries a card even though he doesn't take medication.

His card includes, among other things, emergency contacts and an indication that he has a living will.

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