7 On Your Side: Ice

Accidents happen all the time. If you were a victim how can emergency crews get information about you? That's where I.C.E. comes in. It stands for "In Case of Emergency." Go to your phone book in your cell and designate an emergency contact by writing the word "ICE" next to their name. It can be a friend or a relative. "So if I wasn't conscious someone else would know who to call?," says cell phone user Charles Mensch. 

"That's neat!," says cell phone user Alice Thomas. It sounds like a good idea, put the word ICE next to a person's name in your cell phone as an emergency contact. That person can provide medical crews information about you. But some medical crews including the ones here at ETMC aren't so hung up on the idea. "Paramedics have to spend time to dig through cell phones, as we know there's several different brands of cell phones out there," says Director of Education and Clinic Services Mike Miriovsky. Miriovsky oversees EMS crews at ETMC and was a paramedic himself for several years. "You look at a car accident, you may have 6 or 7 individuals involved and if it's a significant car accident, you may not know which cell phone belongs to who?," says Miriovsky. "When you're trying to get into that phone book that takes away another set of hands that can be helping the patient." 

Not convinced? Put yourself to the test: do you think in the heat of the moment you can answer the following questions about a friend or loved one: date of birth, social security number? Even if you said "yes" to one or more of these questions, ETMC says it's not worth the risk when you're dealing with life or death situations. "That person might not be aware of new medicines being given to the patient, any medical conditions that may have changed," says Miriovsky. For Charles, he still plans on embracing the idea. "I think I would definitely put a family member," says Charles holding his cell phone. But for the medics that deal with accidents everyday? "At this point in time we're not going to openly promote it, we're not going to tell people that this is going to be a standard of care," says Miriovsky.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com