Milton Keynes based charity MedicAlert has teamed up with Biker Down, who are handing out tags at all of their safety courses, and the Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG), who provide tags at events such as the British Superbikes.
More than 19,000 motorcyclists are seriously injured on UK roads every year. National charity MedicAlert have created the tags to reduce the impact of severe injuries, by improving the care a biker gets in the first few minutes after a crash. They have partnered with Biker Down to create and distribute over 13,000 helmet tags which highlight the biker’s critical medical information.
The tags also provide a link to MedicAlert’s main service. The charity enables its members to hold their full medical record online. Paramedics can call the emergency number on the tag and quote the riders unique membership number to access all their medical information. This will include all conditions, allergies, medications, medical and next-of-kin contact details and any relevant documents.
MedicAlert CEO Kirsten Giles said, “We want to make sure that this most vulnerable group on the roads are protected. Our helmet tags speak for them when they cannot.”
Imagine the scene – a biker has come off of his motorcycle during morning rush hour. He’s lying on the tarmac surrounded by other commuters, all wanting to help. He is unconscious and the ambulance is 5 minutes away. They know it is important not to move him in case this causes further injury.
What they don’t know is that he has a hidden medical condition. It could be haemophilia that means he is bleeding heavily internally. It may be an allergy to penicillin. It could even be a heart-condition that caused the accident and now needs treating urgently. Whatever his condition, he is at more risk than ever of this accident causing serious and lasting harm.
The biker may already be wearing a MedicAlert bracelet showing critical medical information, but his heavy leathers cover it. One of the commuters notices his helmet – it has a white plastic tag on it, saying ‘Medical Information Inside’!
As soon as the paramedics arrive, the commuters point out the tag. It is pulled off the helmet, revealing the bikers critical medical details. Now, at last, the details are known which means that the paramedics can look after the rider according to his needs. They can prioritise his care and avoid treatments that may make his condition worse. In some cases, this may mean taking him to the right hospital, one with the facilities to care for his condition.
Sgt. Robert Gilligan, CMPG, said, “Bikers are particularly vulnerable in an accident, but none more so than those with hidden medical conditions. Even bikers who are members of MedicAlert and wear a medical ID at all times will benefit from these tags, as they are easily visible to a paramedic treating them in an accident, while their medical ID may be inaccessible under their helmet or leathers. This initiative will save lives.”
If you are a rider at risk, or you know someone who is, you can also get a helmet tag online. Head to http://www.medicalert.org.uk/helmet-tag/ to order a tag now.