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546 posts

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  # 1614390 19-Aug-2016 15:04
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My partner has a MedicAlert bracelet for a few conditions, most important one being epilepsy. It's been useful to ambulance staff a number of times when she's had a sudden seizure when out.

 

Also bit of a thumbs up to MedicAlert too. Few months ago she ordered a new bracelet as her old one was years old and starting to look pretty worn. Just got the cheapest option. It arrived, and then a couple of days later she was having a CT scan for something unrelated and had a bad reaction to the contrast dye they injected. She had the worst seizure of her life and ended up in ICU at Wellington Hospital for 3 days (she's ok now). A week or so after she got out she had to go back to Wellington Hospital for a follow up neurology appointment following on from what happened. After she left she fell over in the street outside the Hospital (turned out they had increased her medication too much so she was a bit like a zombie) and the new bracelet broke in the fall. Pretty annoying having just bought it less than 2 weeks earlier. She called MedicAlert and told them what happened and they sent her a brand new one free. So thumbs up to them for that when it wasn't their fault at all, we expected we'd just have to buy another one.


1058 posts

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  # 1614392 19-Aug-2016 15:08
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For the first few years after my condition was diagnosed we spent nearly every penny the family had on epipen's ($120 a pop in 1998) and couldn't really afford the bracelet initially so they waved the charged when my GP mentioned this in his part of the paperwork





Most problems are the result of previous solutions...

All comment's I make are my own personal opinion and do not in any way, shape or form reflect the views of current or former employers unless specifically stated 

 
 
 
 




2391 posts

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  # 1614432 19-Aug-2016 15:52
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Guys, if you read the original post you'd see I recommended a DIY bracelet or dog tags, and a long set of instruction including how to find them at jewellers.

My dog tags have a few line of text, and then say "see wallet cards for more information."

Given New Zealand doesn't have 100% cell phone coverage, this reason alone should give it the edge.

The cost savings is the "icing on the cake."


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  # 1614449 19-Aug-2016 16:22
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Beccara:

 

Whatever beef the op has on invoices and medical file's is secondary to the purpose that Medical Alert serves, Yes they beg for money but if they have ever saved your life you wouldn't give a second thought to giving them money, It easy to throw stones when it's not your life on the line or you've never needed them

 

 

Again, you appear to privilege your views over those of others. I disagree with both your insinuations and premises. Here's why:

 

1. That MedicAlert's primary purpose is so important that they should be immune to criticism.

 

Sadly, that also seems to be MedicAlert's view of itself as shown in their responses in this thread. In reality, there are many areas of their business that can benefit from improvement if not reform: marketing, invoicing, terms and conditions, customer service processes, etc.

 

2. That critics of MedicAlert don't care.

 

Why try to make out that critics are doing this because it is not important to them?  It is the opposite reason. Because it is important we think that MedicAlert can do a lot better. Just because they are saving lives doesn't mean that everything else that they do should be rubber-stamped.

 

3. Critics of MedicAlert don't have their lives on the line or have never needed MedicAlert.

 

For the record, critics will tend to be people with first hand experience of MedicAlert. That experience generally arises from the need to deal with life-threatening medical conditions. For example, my household has three people - at the moment, it is usually more - with immediately life-threatening medical conditions including type 1 diabetes, epilepsy, asthma, drug allergy and bee sting allergy.

 

4. MedicAlert saves people lives.

 

As should be clear from my first post here, I constantly see MedicAlert as pumping their role and importance. I also see the process very differently and, from my perspective, MedicAlert normally only has an indirect role in saving lives. The actual life saving is usually done by another party.

 

First, there is the person needing help. If this person was the real priority for MedicAlert then this charity would have a priority which would realise a free basic service that excludes nobody. I see that the MedicAlert priority of getting money out of people gets in the way of saving lives.

 

Second, there are people, usually family, that provide support before, during and after crisis. MedicAlert could be easier to deal with - hard-sell techniques don't help - and more transparent. That it is not is the sort of issue expressed in this thread. Most people suffer in silence so you don't hear their problems.

 

Third, there are the medical professionals who are usually involved before during and after the crisis. They are the people who usually have to make the treatment decisions that can result in life or death. MedicAlert provides essential information but the fit with the national health system is hardly seamless. Isn't it time that we had a clearing house for that information fully integrated into the national health system for the benefit of everyone.

 

Finally, we have MedicAlert who are a private information clearing house and a purveyor of supporting products. The two functions are tightly combined whereas I would separate them completely. As I said, I'd prefer to have MedicAlert planning its own demise and working towards a clearing house fully integrated into the national health system. Instead, I see MedicAlert working to perpetuate its own existence and, in my opinion, fulfilling the needs of an era that should be passing now that almost the entire process can be automated.


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  # 1614461 19-Aug-2016 16:48
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Hmmm, although I believe my medic alert has been advantageous for me I am going to review the situation based on what has been said here 





Mike
Retired IT Manager. 
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

Using empathy takes no energy and can gain so much. Try it.

 

 


1058 posts

Uber Geek
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  # 1614463 19-Aug-2016 16:54
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Hammerer:

 

Beccara:

 

Whatever beef the op has on invoices and medical file's is secondary to the purpose that Medical Alert serves, Yes they beg for money but if they have ever saved your life you wouldn't give a second thought to giving them money, It easy to throw stones when it's not your life on the line or you've never needed them

 

 

Again, you appear to privilege your views over those of others. I disagree with both your insinuations and premises. Here's why:

 

1. That MedicAlert's primary purpose is so important that they should be immune to criticism.

 

Sadly, that also seems to be MedicAlert's view of itself as shown in their responses in this thread. In reality, there are many areas of their business that can benefit from improvement if not reform: marketing, invoicing, terms and conditions, customer service processes, etc.

 

2. That critics of MedicAlert don't care.

 

Why try to make out that critics are doing this because it is not important to them?  It is the opposite reason. Because it is important we think that MedicAlert can do a lot better. Just because they are saving lives doesn't mean that everything else that they do should be rubber-stamped.

 

3. Critics of MedicAlert don't have their lives on the line or have never needed MedicAlert.

 

For the record, critics will tend to be people with first hand experience of MedicAlert. That experience generally arises from the need to deal with life-threatening medical conditions. For example, my household has three people - at the moment, it is usually more - with immediately life-threatening medical conditions including type 1 diabetes, epilepsy, asthma, drug allergy and bee sting allergy.

 

4. MedicAlert saves people lives.

 

As should be clear from my first post here, I constantly see MedicAlert as pumping their role and importance. I also see the process very differently and, from my perspective, MedicAlert normally only has an indirect role in saving lives. The actual life saving is usually done by another party.

 

First, there is the person needing help. If this person was the real priority for MedicAlert then this charity would have a priority which would realise a free basic service that excludes nobody. I see that the MedicAlert priority of getting money out of people gets in the way of saving lives.

 

Second, there are people, usually family, that provide support before, during and after crisis. MedicAlert could be easier to deal with - hard-sell techniques don't help - and more transparent. That it is not is the sort of issue expressed in this thread. Most people suffer in silence so you don't hear their problems.

 

Third, there are the medical professionals who are usually involved before during and after the crisis. They are the people who usually have to make the treatment decisions that can result in life or death. MedicAlert provides essential information but the fit with the national health system is hardly seamless. Isn't it time that we had a clearing house for that information fully integrated into the national health system for the benefit of everyone.

 

Finally, we have MedicAlert who are a private information clearing house and a purveyor of supporting products. The two functions are tightly combined whereas I would separate them completely. As I said, I'd prefer to have MedicAlert planning its own demise and working towards a clearing house fully integrated into the national health system. Instead, I see MedicAlert working to perpetuate its own existence and, in my opinion, fulfilling the needs of an era that should be passing now that almost the entire process can be automated.

 

 

 

 

1,2,3) The op is urging people not to get the bracelet and is advising people use other unsafe methods of trying to inform crews of medical conditions. This is the point i take issue with - He may have legitimate concerns about other things they do but it's stupid and dangerous to advise people to avoid using bracelets because of issues he has with their money raising methods and other services.

 

 

 

4a) Without the basic information on the bracelet life saving interventions don't normally get used unless you have a clear and common condition - Someone having a seizure or a diabetic will exhibit common symptoms that assist in giving first responders clues onto treatment and with common conditions the crews normally know what to expect. Where the bracelet does directly save lives is the uncommon conditions, The ones where the symptoms dont make it clear whats happening. With my condition i may present signs of a stroke where one side of my body becomes useless, I suffer from incoherent speech and the hives on my skin are normally full body so all of these symptoms when presented to a crew dont indicate the need for immediate adrenaline however without it i normally go from first exposure/symptom onset to cardiac arrests in 8-9 minutes. Through the various support groups I've been to in my life I've  made good friends some of whom i've lost because of crews not understanding whats happening and just transported them to A&E.

 

4b) You yourself have ID'ed issues which i think are fair, You've not said to anyone here to not use the bracelet you've simply raised concerns and fears about how they operate, That is what the OP should have been

 

 

 

4c,d) This comes down to how you get to the professional, Having vet'ed information (which a self printed card isn't or a tat) like a bracelet is the most surefire way to communicate to your helper what you have and how to help no matter where you are and no matter if you have family around you or not. Personally i would like to see MedicAlert and St John's government funded if not part of the MoH as i think everyone with an allergy or major health problem should have free access to bracelets. The use of self printed cards or other methods is a very risky area as crews who accept that information and run into issues would be held to account by the public. The MA method of having a GP or other medical professional vet the information to be put on it helps give crew trust that the info is correct and they can act upon it

 

 

 

Anyway it's 5pm Friday so i'm out :)

 

 

 

 





Most problems are the result of previous solutions...

All comment's I make are my own personal opinion and do not in any way, shape or form reflect the views of current or former employers unless specifically stated 

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