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Letter to the editor

Editor, Many Australians are at risk from medications if they are unable to communicate adequately in an emergency. This may be because of drug hypersensitivity or interactions, or because they are taking medications which may be life threatening if stopped suddenly.

The Medic Alert Foundation's visible emblem will alert both ambulance officers and emergency carers. A telephone call to the number on the emblem will access a computerised registry of further information. The Foundation is a worldwide, nonprofit organisation staffed partly by
unpaid volunteers. It has been endorsed by the Federal Minister for Health, the Australian Medical Association, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

Many thousands of Australians already wear the Medic Alert emblem, but they are only a very small proportion of those who could benefit from it. The $55 cost for the standard stainless steel disc covers basic production and administrative expenses. Doctors are required to authorise the medical information on the application form to ensure its accuracy.

Further information and supplies of application forms can be obtained by phoning the Medic Alert professional line 1800882222.

Dr Robert Hecker
Director Professional Relations
Australia Medic Alert Foundation
Eastwood, S.A.