In case of emergency

Health care service providers are hoping ICE kits like these become more prevalent over the coming months. -- Submitted photo.

A pair of Prince Albert health care service providers are looking to help local residents become better prepared for a medical emergency.

On Thursday, the Lake Country Co-op pharmacy and Parkland Ambulance Care Ltd. officially announced the new In Case of Emergency (ICE) medical information pouch. The kits are designed to provide necessary medical information to paramedics in a quick and timely matter during an emergency.

Parkland Ambulance spokesperson Lyle Karasiuk said the ICE kits could be vital for medical professionals, especially when attending to residents who live by themselves.

“When you’re a little bit frantic and just not prepared for that emergency, because nobody really is, then (ICE) provides that little extra comfort to say, here’s all the information that I need,” Karasiuk explained. “Honestly, that gives us paramedics everything that we need to get started.”

Programs like ICE have been implemented before in Prince Albert, but over the last decade they’ve fallen out of use. At one point, Karasiuk said it was common to see programs like Vial of LIFE (Life saving Information for Emergencies) that filled similar roles. However, it’s been more than a decade since he’s seen widespread use of them.

The ICE kits include everything from a list of medications taken by the patient, to any recent operations, such as the installation of a pacemaker. Karasiuk said having that information readily available and easy to access can save paramedics valuable minutes when it comes to treating patients.

“It’s just that everything is there in one place,” he said. “For us, it’s going to save a whole lot of time.”

Right now, the biggest challenge is getting people to use the kits. Karasiuk said they’re easy to create and free, but the onus is on residents to come to the Parkland offices or a Co-op pharmacy and fill them out.

“If they want to keep one at home and one in their purse, by all means, ask for two,” he said. “We’ve got lots of them. That’s not an issue, giving people more than what they need. It’s just a matter of getting people to use them.”

ICE kits can be filled out at the Co-op Marketplace in Cornerstone, the Co-operative Health Centre location or Parkland Ambulance Care Ltd.