“It could save your life” – The emergency phone hack every parent needs to know
This A&E doctor wants all parents to know something.
It's something you may be aware of, but have you got it set up on your phone? If not, this is a reminder for all of us.
Describing how she often sees patients brought into the accident and emergency department, with no way of knowing who they are, doctor Julia Thompson says there's a simple thing we can all do to make sure this doesn't happen.
She says that although patients generally have their mobile phones with them when they present to hospital, because the phones are locked, doctors have no way of finding out who the next of kin is or, importantly, if they have any existing medical conditions if the patient is not conscious.
Julia is urging everyone to add emergency contact information and medical details to their mobile phones and make them accessible to those who need them.
How? By using the available shortcuts, or downloading a free ‘In Case of Emergency’ (ICE) app, so that others can access information on your phone, even if it's locked.
In a Facebook post that's now been shared over 163,000 times, she wrote: "It could save your life. If your kids have mobile phones, you can add the ‘In Case of Emergency’ details to their phones as well.
"Working in a public hospital and seeing patients in ED all the time, I see many patients come in and we have had no way of knowing who they are or how to contact their next of kin or their medical history. And their phones are locked.
"Many people don't realise that you can set up something called a 'Medical ID' on your iPhone if you have the health app (free with phone). I didn't even realise this when I got my own iPhone.
"This information can be accessed even while the phone is locked by clicking on the emergency options and can display things like name, DOB, emergency contacts, medical conditions and even blood type and donor status. You can even add notes.
How to add ICE information if you've got an iPhone
1 Click on the Health app and then choose Medical ID
2 Click the button ‘Create Medical ID’. You’ll then be able to edit and add your details.
3 Make sure that the option to ‘Show When Locked’ is activated.
To find someone’s emergency contact on their phone:
On the locked screen, you’ll see the words ‘Emergency’ in the bottom left corner.
Press that and you'll see a special dialing screen with a Medical ID button.
Click on this for the emergency information.
How to add your 'In Case of Emergency' information if you’ve got an Android phone
1 Go into Contacts
2 Click on Groups
3 The dropdown list will include ‘ICE - emergency contacts’
4 Click on this and then select the people you want as your emergency contacts
5 You can also fill in personal details including allergies, blood type and details of any medication you are taking.
To find someone’s emergency contact on their Android phone:
To access the emergency contact information on a locked Android phone, swipe to open. This will bring up the passcode page, with ‘emergency calls only’ on the bottom.
Click on ‘emergency calls’. On the top right will be a siren icon. Click on this and it will show the emergency contact information.
Using an 'In Case of Emergency' (ICE) app
There are also a number of apps you can download and include your emergency contact information. These will then appear on your lock screen. Popular ones include:
Medical ICE - this free app allows you to fill in your personal details, medical history and emergency contacts. It can be accessed from your lock screen. Suitable for Android phones
ICE (In Case Of Emergency) - this free iPhone app lets you put your emergency contact details on your lock screen wallpaper.