09 July 2020

Planning for a medical emergency with your organiser.

Recently I had an unexpected stay in a nearby hospital, not unpleasant by any means, but just unexpected. In fact it was only my third ever stay in a hospital, and the longest as far as I'm aware. My previous hospital stay was back when I was only seventeen! Yes, decades ago.

Add in the fact that this was a French hospital and because of COVID-19 I was on my own, it tested my French language skills quite a bit!.

I quickly realised that without my smart phone to hand, I was lacking certain key information, I eventually did get my phone and my bag etc back again several hours later and I started making notes of the information I couldn't remember when asked by the Doctors and information that would have been useful to have with me in future, so I wouldn't have to attempt to commit it to memory.

So I would assume that I would have to keep this information in the form of a card or a page in my organiser or similar. Depending on how much information you need will decide on what size card/page you use.

Relaxing in the hospital bed all wired up to the heart monitor I came up with the following list:
  • My name, date of birth - basically so if it was found they would know who the information on the card/page referred to.
  • Partners name and mobile phone number - No matter how hard I tried I could not remember Alison's phone number!
  • Current Medication - If you are on regular medication this will help the Doctors, fortunately I had my tablets with me, but I couldn't remember their exact name!
  • Brief medical history - I could remember some information, but not what it was called in English let alone in French... I eventually did remember and the Doctor did a quick Google search on his phone! 
  • Doctors name and contact details - In case the people treating you need to contact them for more details on recent history. 
  • Anything else? - this card/page should be considered to be a live document so it should be reviewed and updated from time to time. 

The card if you can make it say business card/credit card size printed on both sides has the advantage that you could easily carry it in your pocket/wallet all the time. You could also have a page in your organiser holding similar information in more detail.

I've created a simple document for you to download and edit then print out which ever page you want. Cut the page to size and punch it etc. They are all on A4 size but it should work if you resize the page to Letter size.

Download the file here. Card.docx

You can edit the headings to suit yourself.

I hope you never need to use the card/page! Take care and stay healthy.


  1. Love and appreciate this very much. Thank you.

  2. Great idea! You can buy an ICE Card but it’s good to make your own! I’ve just had a (socially distanced) coffee with a GP (doctor) friend. He wishes more people carried such information! He suggests adding “house number/postcode” eg:”23, LS14 4AA UK”, as medics would always check your address to confirm your identity and to know if you’re from the local area. He also thought “partner” would be better as “Emergency Contact”, and adding “Blood Group” and “Allergies” (penicillin is a big one) would be useful.

    1. Thanks Tim for those additional ideas. Each page is easy to edit to add in anything people need.

  3. Excellent post, Steve! Hope you're doing well now.

    My healthcare organization provides a similar card for us to use.

    Besides listing any current medications, it's good to list dosage amount (ex: 10mg / 2x daily).

    List any allergies and sensitivities to any medications, including type of reaction if taken.

    List any medical devices are inside you (pacemaker, stents, etc).



  4. Great post Steve and handy. I keep info in my Filofax and handbag purse as my planner is often at home so info in both handbag and planner. One never plans to get an emergency ambulance and you may be unconscious or confused from an accident, so an info card has to be easily found. Meds dosages are important. Does anyone have an in case of grab and go holdall packed? I was in such a state when mum died and I unexpectedly got a get to Musgrove Hospital now phone call that to my shame I had not packed a decent dress/outfit for being smart at the undertakers etc. I just took my jeans and tops. We live and learn. Does anyone have an in case of holdall packed for an emergency? Glad you are on the mend Steve. Take the hugest care of yourself, you are one precious person.

  5. Thank you for this Steve. I hope you are recovering well and staying safe