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MedicAlert Awareness Month

The month of August is Medic Alert Awareness Month. For over 60 years, the
MedicAlert Foundation International (MAFI) has customized jewelry for people who suffer from
life-threatening medical conditions. Dr. Marion Collins established MAFI after his daughter,
Linda, nearly died of a severe allergic reaction during a simple non-life-threatening medical
procedure. Soon after, the Collins’ family came up with the idea of inscribing Linda’s medical
condition on a bracelet, rather than attaching a note to her coat everywhere she went without her
parents. Today, these medical alert bracelets, necklaces, and shoe tags help save millions of lives
across the world annually. This month is dedicated to educating everyone about these medical
alert bracelets to prevent another situation like Linda’s from occurring.

In emergency situations, good Samaritans and first responders must assess a situation and
react quickly as best as they can with little to no information on what has caused the emergency
(i.e. when a person collapses suddenly and/or becomes unresponsive). MedicAlert bracelets are
designed to clearly state what medical conditions a person suffers from. These medical
conditions include: food or drug allergies; anaphylaxis shock; asthma; cardiac problems;
hypertension; epilepsy or seizures; has a pacemaker; diabetes; risk of stroke; lung disease (like
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder—COPD); cancer; dialysis; multiple sclerosis; on blood
thinners (Coumadin Warfarin); has anemia or a blood disorder(s); suffers from dementia or
Alzheimer’s disease; Autism; child with special needs; and do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders.

In addition to stating what medical issue the victim may be suffering from, MAFI
provides a 24/7 Emergency Response phone number on their identification jewelry. By calling
that phone number, you will be able to receive information on the victim’s: current medications
and the dosage; previous medical and surgery information (i.e. concussion, stroke, etc.); access
to emergency contacts (family members); their primary care physician’s contact information; if
they have implanted medical devices; advance directives; and more. Knowing this information
can significantly assist you in your response to the individual and help expedite response from
medical personnel once they arrive. MedicAlert bracelets have decreased medical errors by
almost 50%, as well.

MAFI is a non-profit, charitable organization that partners with organizations like the
Alzheimer’s Association and many more to provide those in need with proper identification
jewelry. More information can be found by visiting Medical Alert.

If you have questions regarding any of the information mentioned in this week’s article,
please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office. Please always feel free to contact my
office if you have any questions or issues regarding a Texas state agency, or if you would like to
contact my office regarding constituent services. As always, my offices are available at any time
to assist with questions, concerns, or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office,

– State Representative Todd Hunter, District 32

Rep. Hunter represents Aransas County and Nueces County (Part). He can be contacted
at or at 512-463-0672.