Be Prepared for an Emergency With ITP

By Michelle Ponte

Let’s face it, most people usually think about emergency planning after the event has occurred—it’s human nature. But if you have ITP, it’s time to make emergency preparedness a priority so you get the right help in an unplanned medical event. Before anyone ever treats you, they need to know you have a bleeding disorder. Invest in medical identification that lets others know you have ITP. Here are two ways to get started today:

Wear medical alert jewelry

Let medical personnel know about your condition by wearing a bracelet or a necklace engraved with your personal health information. You can purchase a variety of medical jewelry styles—from basic to bling—from online retailers. Include the following information on your medical I.D. tag:

  • That you have a bleeding disorder called ITP
  • Your platelet counts
  • If you’ve had a splenectomy
  • If you're taking steroids
  • Emergency contacts

Your message should be clear and simple. For example:

ELIZABETH JOHNSON
ITP BLEEDING DISORDER
LOW PLATELETS
222-333-4545 DR
222-875-2284 HM

Medical I.D. tip
In addition to listing that you have ITP, you may want to provide further explanation since many people may not know about the condition. For example, you may want to say “low platelets” or even list your platelet counts, so emergency responders understand right away that you have a bleeding condition.

Keep an emergency card in your wallet

Your card should say you have ITP, provide a description of what it is and note the following:

  • Medications you're taking
  • Treatments
  • Doctor(s)’ names and phone numbers
  • Insurance information
  • Family member or friend to contact in case of an emergency

Contact the Platelet Disorder Support Association (PDSA) for a free wallet medical card at pdsa.org. Or, send a note and a stamped, self-addressed envelope to PDSA, 133 Rollins Avenue, Suite 5, Rockville, MD 20852.

Published July 2011

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