Title:
Emergency/medical information system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A medical information system utilizing a document listing particular medical information of a subject. The document is compressible into a container for holding the document. The container is positioned in a particular place and includes alerting means indicating position of such container and the identification of such container.



Inventors:
Cox, Monica P. (Jackson, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/861192
Publication Date:
01/13/2005
Filing Date:
06/03/2004
Assignee:
COX MONICA P.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
G09F3/20; A45C11/26; (IPC1-7): B65D71/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BUI, LUAN KIM
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Michael L. Gencarella, Esq. (Sunnyvale, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A method for providing information to emergency response personnel at a scene of an emergency, comprising: providing a document holder having a first identifier displayed thereon; inserting an information document into a document holder; storing the document holder in a location; and displaying a second identifier matching the first identifier in a vicinity of the location.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the information document provides medical information and contact information.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the document holder is a tube having a cap.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein storing the document holder in a location includes, affixing the document holder to a surface within the location.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein displaying a second identifier matching the first identifier in a vicinity of the location includes, affixing the second identifier to a surface in the vicinity.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein displaying a second identifier matching the first identifier in a vicinity of the location includes, affixing the second identifier to a surface associated with one of a vehicle, a carrying case or a home.

7. A system configured to provide emergency response personnel access to medical and contact information of a victim at the scene of an emergency, comprising: a container holding a medical information document of the victim, an outer surface of the container having an identifier displayed, the container being stored in a location; and an alerting label affixed to a surface in a vicinity of the location of the container, the alerting label having the identifier displayed, thereby indicating presence of the container.

8. The system of claim 7, wherein the container includes a body and a cap.

9. The system of claim 7, wherein the alerting label is displayed on reflective material.

10. The system of claim 7, wherein the surface is selected from the group consisting of a vehicle surface, a home surface, and a carrying case.

11. The system of claim 10, wherein the location is a child car seat and the vehicle surface is a window of a vehicle carrying the child car seat.

12. The system of claim 7, wherein the alerting label is a tag affixed to a carrying case in which the container is disposed.

13. The system of claim 7 wherein the container is an aluminum container.

14. An apparatus for holding medical and contact information in case of an emergency, comprising: a tube having a body and a removable lid disposed thereon, the tube containing a document listing the medical and contact information, an outer surface of the tube having an identifying label applied thereto; and an alerting label displaying the identifying label, the alerting label placed separately from the tube in a visible location proximate to the tube.

15. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the removable lid creates an airtight seal when disposed over the body.

16. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the identifying label is applied to the body.

17. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the alerting label is applied to a case in which the tube is inserted.

18. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein multiple alerting labels are provided, the multiple alerting labels are configured to attach the tube to a personal article

19. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the alerting label is a clip.

20. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the removable lid creates a waterproof seal when disposed over the body.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part claiming priority under 35 U.S.C. § 120 of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/293,281 filed on Nov. 14, 2002, and entitled “EMERGENCY/MEDICAL INFORMATION SYSTEM.” This application is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety for all purposes.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a novel and useful system for providing medical information of a subject.

Persons often possess a medical history which is critical to persons administering medical treatment, especially in emergency situations. For example, a medical history may include information concerning prior heart attacks, asthmatic conditions, allergic reactions to medicines and the like. In addition, medical treatment is often predicted on medical insurance information which must be communicated to the entity administering medical treatment. Moreover, particular types of treatment should be communicated to emergency medical personnel such as “do not resuscitate” (DNR) orders. When a patient is conscious, such medical information is easily obtained. However, when the patient is unconscious, such items are unknown and must be obtained from other sources which often entails a time delay and can result in a life or death situation.

In the past, compact carrying devices have been proposed for transporting personal items such as medicines, candies, film, and the like. For example, U.S. Pat. Nos. Des. 137,496, Des. 263,622 and 5,775,485 describe this type of article.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,662,091 shows a storage apparatus for carrying medical information on a microfiche chip.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,519,497 shows a container which holds personal documents such as a codicil.

U.S. Pat. No. 1,573,663 describes container having a spring ring which contains a motor vehicle license.

U.S. Pat. Nos. 632,167 and 2,729,913 illustrate containers for writing implements and fishing flies, respectively.

U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,151,740 and 4,333,562 teach cap seals which retain vital information papers.

U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,197,665, 4,249,330, 4,327,512 and 4,920,672 show pendants and cap seals which are used to contain medical information in carious formats.

A system which stores medical information about a subject and alerts medical personnel to the existence of the same would be a notable advance in the medical field.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention a novel and useful system for providing emergency/medical information of a subject is herein provided.

The system of the present invention utilizes a document which lists emergency/medical information concerning a subject. Such medical information may include emergency contacts, consent forms, insurance coverage identification, medical history information, such as past heart attacks, strokes, and the like, as well as medical conditions which exist such as asthma, hemophilia, and similar afflictions. In addition, allergies to medical treatments, such as penicillin, may be listed. Other pertinent items such as the lack of medical history, “do not resuscitate” (DNR) orders, organ donor wishes, and the like may also be listed on the document. The document may be formed of a conventional sheet of paper of normal size and be rolled or folded into a compact form.

A container is also found in the present invention for holding the compacted document. Such container may take the form of a two-piece canister which fastens together into a single object. The canister may be constructed into an airtight configuration with the proper gasketing or seals to achieve this result. Means is also found for positioning the container to a particular place such as the inside of a cabinet, the inside of a refrigerator, a glove compartment of a car, a case affixed to a vehicle and other protected areas. Such means may take the form of a clip, a magnetic holder, Velcro fasteners, and any other known support means.

Alerting means is also used in the present invention to direct emergency medical service personnel to the presence of the container and enclosed document. Such alerting means may take the form of an identifying indicia which is mountable to a surface in the vicinity of a place where the container is located, for example, at the entryway of a building, on the outside door of a cabinet, to the exterior of a refrigerator compartment, on an infant seat, and the like. In addition, alerting means is placed on the canister itself to allow the seeker of the canister quick access to the same. Moreover, the alerting means may be placed on other articles such as tags which are connected to briefcases, pocketbooks, belts of the subject, or any other personal items of the subject.

It may be apparent that a novel and useful system for providing medical information has been hereinabove described.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a system for communicating medical information on a subject which utilizes a container enclosing a document which is easy to carry, store and retrieve.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a system for communicating medical information of a subject to aid emergency rescue workers in the ascertaining of medical information in order to effect treatment of a subject who has been injured or medically distressed in some manner.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a system for communicating medical information which eliminates the use of phones, computer chips, or other time consuming devices in the obtaining of medical information of an injured subject.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a system for communicating medical information which utilizes alerting means in the form of a symbol which is instantly recognizable by emergency medical personnel and indicates the presence and location of a medical document in a container.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a system for communicating medical information which utilizes a protected document which is easily updated and reviewable by physicians.

The invention possesses other objects and advantages especially as concerns particular characteristics and features thereof which will become apparent as the specification continues.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front, elevational, exploded view of the system of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of embodiment of the alerting means employed with the present invention.

FIG. 3 is an illustration of the use of the alerting means of the present invention on a refrigerator.

FIG. 4 is an illustration of the alerting means of the present invention used with a window.

FIG. 5 is a simplified schematic diagram of the placement of an identifier in a vicinity of the container holding the medical information in accordance with one embodiment of the invention.

FIGS. 6A-6C of the container and an intermediary case provided to hold the container in accordance with one embodiment of the invention.

FIGS. 7A and 7B illustrate an alternative holding technique to the holding case of FIGS. 6B and 6C.

FIGS. 8A and 8B illustrate an alerting label configuration in accordance with one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 9 is a flowchart illustrating the method operations for providing information to emergency response personnel at the scene of an emergency in accordance with one embodiment of the invention.

For better understanding of the invention reference is made to the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments thereof which should be taken in conjunction with the prior described drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

Various aspects of the present invention will evolve from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments thereof which should be understood in connection with the prior delineated drawings.

The preferred embodiment of the invention as a whole is shown in the drawings. A preferred embodiment of the invention as a whole is shown in the drawings by reference character 10. System 10 includes as one of its elements a document 12 which is intended to list medical information on a subject, shown schematically by markings 14, FIG. 1. Markings 14 would include important medical information about a subject such as medical history, past heart attacks, strokes, and the like. Also, medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and other serious infirmities would be listed on document 14. Document 14 may also reveal allergies to medical treatment such as penicillin, as well as preferred treatments for infections, such as sulfa drugs. Medical treatment preferences may also be listed on document 14 including “do not resuscitate” (DNR) instructions, organ donation wishes, and the like. Document 14 is easily rolled into a compact condition as depicted in FIG. 1. Moreover, information contained on document 14 may be entered in pencil or other erasable media to permit updating of the same as time goes on.

System 10 also utilizes a container 16 shown as including a lower portion 18 and an upper portion 20 which is removable and connectable to lower portion 18. Such connection may take the form of forming upper portion 20 as a hollow member which snaps into hollow lower portion 18. Ring 22 reinforces the connecting area between upper portion 20 and lower portion 18. Once connected, upper and lower portion 18 forming container 16 may be positioned in any convenient or particular place. In this regard, means 24 may be used to position the container 16. For example, means 24 may take the form of a flexible clip 26 to place container 16 in a pocket or against a flange or flap of some sort. Magnetic strip 28 allows container 16 to be mounted against a metallic surface. Of course, container 16 may be simply placed in a cabinet, glove compartment, drawer, and other convenient areas within a house or vehicle.

Most importantly, alerting means 30 is employed to indicate the presence of container 16. Alerting means 30 includes a symbol or indicia 32 which is placed directly against the curved outer wall 34 of lower portion 18 of container 16, FIG. 1. Alerting means also includes a placard 36 which may be in the form of a decal. FIG. 2 indicates a protective layer 38 for decal 36 which is removed prior to placement of decal 36 on a surface. For example, FIGS. 3 and 4 depict the use of placard or decal 36. In FIG. 3, a refrigerator 40 is shown where decal 36 has been placed on door portion 42. Decal 36 indicates that container or canister 16 lies within refrigerator 40. FIG. 4 shows decal 36 on a window 44 of a vehicle 46. Decal 36 in FIG. 4 indicates that container 16 lies within vehicle 46. Of course, decal or placard 36 may be placed on other structures such as cabinets, compartments, desks, and the like.

In operation, the user prepares document 12 by turning pertinent medical information about a subject indicates by markings 14. Document 12 is then rolled or otherwise made into a compact configuration and placed within container 16 lower portion 18. Upper portion 20 of container 16 is then mated with lower portion 18 according to the directional arrow 48. Directional arrow 48 also indicates that upper portion 20 of container 16 may be removed from lower portion 18 to retrieve document 12 in order to ascertain the medical information indicated by markings 14 or to update the same. Alerting means 32 in the form of a symbol of indicia 32 is then applied to the outer wall 30 of container 16 to identify the same on identical indicia 32 found on decal 36 is also employed by placement of the same in the vicinity of container 16. In the examples depicted in FIGS. 3 and 4, container 16 has been placed in refrigerator 40 or vehicle 46. Decal 36 has been placed on the door 42 of refrigerator 40 or a window 44 or vehicle 46, as the case may be. Of course, other places may be employed to store container 16 which would accompany the use of decal or placard 36 on a particular surface to indicate presence of container 16. It may be apparent that decal or placard 36 is always placed on a visible surface to assure that emergency medical personnel, for example, will retrieve container 16 should a subject whose medical information is contained therein need medical assistance. However, alerting means 32 may be employed to obtain container 16 for whatever purpose.

FIG. 5 is a simplified schematic diagram of the placement of an identifier in a vicinity of the container holding the medical information in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. As shown in FIG. 5, entryway 50 includes identifier 52 which indicates that a container including the medical information is present in the house. Of course, identifier 52 may be placed in numerous locations on entryway 50. Additionally, more identifiers may be placed in the house, e.g. if the container of medical information is located in the refrigerator, an identifier may be placed on the outside of the refrigerator door. It should be appreciated that identifier 52 may take numerous forms. Some exemplary forms include a decal, a placard, a reflective sticker, etc.

FIGS. 6A-6C of the container and an intermediary case provided to hold the container in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. Here, tube 54 includes body 58 and cap 59. Held within tube 54 is information sheet 56, which may include insurance, medical, and contact information. Body 58 includes elongated shoulder 58a over which cap 59 slides. In one embodiment, the seal provided through cap 59 sliding over elongated shoulder 58a is watertight and/or airtight. Identifier 60 is displayed on the outer surface of body 58. As illustrated in FIG. 6B, tube 54 may be placed inside open holding case 62. Holding case 62 may be composed of any suitable material, e.g., nylon. Holding case 62 includes a VELCRO strip 64 that enables closure of the holding case by attaching corresponding VELCRO sections. FIG. 6C illustrates closed holding case 66 in which tube 54 has been inserted. Identifier 68 is visible on the closed flap of the holding case. It should be appreciated that the flap stays in a closed position by the attachment of corresponding VELCRO section in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. While VELCRO is discussed as attachment or fastening means, any suitable technique may be used for closing the holding case, e.g., a magnetic closure, a button, a snap, etc. In one embodiment, along the back side of holding case 66 may be a strip of VELCRO used to attach the holding case to a surface having a corresponding VELCRO strip. One exemplary surface that the holding case is attached to is a child car seat.

FIGS. 7A and 7B illustrate an alternative holding technique to the holding case of FIGS. 6B and 6C. Here tube 54 is held by straps 70. In this embodiment, each cap 59 and body 58 are fastened to one of straps 70. Straps 70 attach to a VELCRO piece adhered to cap 59 or body 58. As illustrated in FIG. 7B, the outer surface of strap 70 includes VELCRO patch 72 which is configured to attach to a corresponding patch (not shown) on the back side of tube 54 of FIG. 7A. Straps 70 are adjustable and may include VELCRO material on the inner surface so as to wrap around tube 54 and a desired surface. For example, the configuration illustrated in FIGS. 7A and 7B may be used to strap tube 54 to a bike.

FIGS. 8A and 8B illustrate an alerting label configuration in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. Clip 74 is illustrated in a closed position in FIG. 8A. Clip 74 consists of ring 78 and body 76. Ring 78 is attached to body 76 through a spring mechanism so as to stay in a closed position. Thus, when a force is applied to ring 78 in an upward direction, the ring extends to expose an opening that may be used to mate with a closed loop to act as a clip so that alerting label 82 is thereby attached. Once the force is removed, the spring retracts ring 78 to a closed position. It should be appreciated that the terms “alerting label,” “identifier,” and “symbol of indicia” are interchangeable as used herein. Accordingly, clip 74 may be used as an alerting label to a carrying case, such as for example, a gym bag, a duffle bag, or any other suitable carrying sack related to a sport activity.

FIG. 9 is a flowchart illustrating the method operations for providing information to emergency response personnel at the scene of an emergency in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. The method initiates with operation 90 where a document holder having a first identifier displayed thereon is provided. The document holder may be the tube discussed above with reference to FIGS. 1, 6A, and 7A. The method then advances to operation 92 where an information document is inserted into the document holder. Here, the medical, contact and insurance information is captured by the information document. The method then proceeds to operation 94 where the document holder is stored in a location. The location may be any of the locations described above. Then in operation 96, a second identifier matching the first identifier is displayed in a vicinity of the location. The second identifier is used as an alerting label so that emergency personnel are made aware of the existence of the information document in the document holder.

In summary, a system, method and apparatus are provided for alerting emergency personnel of the existence of medical information and other pertinent data at the scene of an emergency. Through the use of an alerting label, which acts as an identifier of the presence of the information, emergency personnel are able to obtain information that may be invaluable at the scene of an emergency. The alerting label is placed separately from the information in a location readily apparent to emergency personnel. Thus, the medical information may be placed in a location so as to preserve its integrity. It should be appreciated that numerous uses and activities may benefit from the use of the embodiments described herein. Thus, the above-described embodiments are exemplary and not meant to be limiting. For example, a person, as well as their dependents, engaging in numerous sporting activities such as skiing, snow boarding, race car driving, scuba diving, or any other activity involving a risk of injury may benefit from the above-described system.

While in the foregoing, embodiments of the present invention have been set forth in considerable detail for the purposes of making a complete disclosure of the invention, it may be apparent to those of skill in the art that numerous changes may be made in such detail without departing from the spirit and principles of the invention.