Automobile accidents occur in staggering numbers in the United States, to the tune of over 10 million per year! (according to US Census data from 2009) How many deaths do you think result from those accidents annually? Personally, I found it fascinating to note that there were only 26 deaths attributed to motor vehicles in 1899. With an explosion in population, an Industrial Revolution afoot, and the mass production of the modern automobile, that number had increased to 12,155 fatalities in a year by 1920. It is no great wonder that it continued rising, having nearly doubled to 23,165 by 1944. Car accident deaths peaked in 1973 with 54,589 Americans dying in motor vehicle altercations. Since then, the number has been in decline, reaching as low as 32,367 deaths in the year 2011. The most recent statistics for 2016 can be read here. Odds of death in the United States can viewed here.
Besides a sense of historical context for auto accidents, these numbers tell us a couple of things. Thankfully, deaths from car accidents have been steadily decreasing, likely due to developments in car safety technology and advancements in medicine to treat accident victims. However, this also leads us to surmise that more people are surviving auto accidents, requiring emergency treatment. For many with a history of health problems, a trip to the Emergency Room may be every bit as deadly as the accident that sent them there in the first place!
Authorities suggest that deaths in hospitals resulting from medical errors may exceed fatalities from auto accidents each year. The exact numbers are hard to pin down, but according to a 2004 Health Grades estimation, medical error deaths could total as many as 195,000 per year. While this is still a very small percentage of the total number of people admitted to hospitals each year, it is still cause for great concern, especially for those who already have recurring health problems. One particular example of medical error is administering treatment medications to patients en route to the hospital. Intravenous infusions of certain medications during an ambulance ride can save a patient’s life. However, certain pre-existing medical conditions make treatment with these common lifesaving drugs, not only dangerous, but even deadly. For example, patients on blood thinners, heart medications, diabetic drugs, and/or allergy meds will be treated differently if the details of their medical history are known by paramedics. This is why having the medical app can be a lifesaver in the event of an accident or health crisis.
In an emergency, such as a car accident, you may not be able to speak for yourself. In fact, even if you could, statistics say that less than 50% of patients can even list their current medications and dosages. Now, imagine the scenario where you are severely injured in an automobile accident and cannot inform the emergency personell about specific medications, allergies, and known health conditions. In such a situation, symptoms may be misdiagnosed, which makes effective treatment impossible. Studies suggest that half of all medical errors may result from mistakes made during the hospital admission or discharge process. Moreover, emergency responders are trained to look for medical bracelets when initiating treatment. The simple preemptive measure of wearing a medical ID device helps keep minor injuries from turning fatal, reduces hospital error, and may improve your chances of a healthy recovery.
Modern medicine is becoming necessarily more bound to technology. The use of modern technology in treating patients helps to reduce error and provide better treatment. One of the most prominent examples of this can be seen in the push to develop EHR software or electronic health records. Traditional health records are subject to damage, loss, theft, and even human error. We are moving toward a new paradigm where medical records can be kept “in the cloud” and accessed by doctors anywhere in the world. As we wait for modern medicine and technology to further intertwine, we can prepare by improving communications with medical professionals. To work with technological developments in the medical industry, you can shift the paradigm from the traditional engraved medical alert ID to something even better. That something is MyMedicInfo, a Medical app that stores all of your medical information in one place.
MyMedicInfo Can Save Your Life
MyMedicInfo is a medical app that you access on your hand held device. MyMedicInfo can communicate your current medications, past medical history, allergies, and even contact info, such as next of kin. The sheer shock of an accident or injury can be enough to prevent you from effectively communicating your unique medical needs to first responders. MyMedicInfo can save your life or the life of someone that you love by making sure that your unique medical needs are communicated to those administering treatment.
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