It Pays to Keep “ICE” on Your Cell Phone, iPhone or iPod

January 27, 2010 | By More

It keeps you in touch with friends, family and business contacts.

It’s a source of entertainment, whether you play games on it or surf the Web. But did you know your cell phone can help save your life or the lives of others in an emergency situation, even if you’re in no condition to use it to call for help?

When a debilitating crisis occurs like an accident or illness, emergency teams that respond to the scene will want to have as much information as possible about your health – including contact information for the person who can make decisions on your behalf.

Your cell phone can often speak on your behalf when you’re incapacitated. Emergency personnel are trained to look in your phone for phone numbers designated with the acronym “ICE” – which stands for “In Case of Emergency.” They’ll use that information to get in touch with someone who can make decisions for you.

Some cell phones already come pre-programmed with the ICE function, so all you have to do is punch in the appropriate numbers. If you’re among the 50 million Americans who own an iPhone or iPod Touch, you can place all your critical medical information in the hands of emergency personnel by using the free ICE App. To download ICE App for free, log on to the iPhone Apps Store and search “ICE-app” or visit http://www.ice-app.net.

Created by online legal service LegalZoom.com and Donate Life America, ICE App allows emergency responders to access information about you, including your name, a photograph (to match the phone to you), birth date, height and weight, medical conditions, blood type, allergies, medications, emergency contacts and your organ donation wishes – a feature that could help save the lives of people waiting for organ donations.

Ninety percent of Americans think organ donation is the right thing to do, yet only 28 percent have taken the appropriate steps to register as an organ donor. If you don’t have an iPhone, you can register as a donor at donatelife.net.

“Having emergency contact and medical history information immediately available in your cell or smart phone can help emergency responders make quicker decisions during those precious first minutes, a time that could mean the difference between life and death,” says Brian Liu, cofounder and chairman of LegalZoom.

Once you’ve downloaded the app to your iPhone, follow the on-screen prompts to complete the contact and medical information. Once you’re done, place the ICE App icon in the top right corner of your touch screen, where first responders will see it right away when they check your phone. All information is stored on your phone, and not on the Web, ensuring your private information stays in your possession and that first responders can access it, even when the phone has a weak or no cellular signal.

- Courtesy of  ARA

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