Those with medical conditions can feel assured with new database

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Rice News, Volume 12, Number 12

By Greg Okuhara
Rice News Staff

In the case of a medical emergency, the more information emergency medical technicians have about a patient, the more effective treatment they can provide.

To make sure Rice EMTs are able to provide the most comprehensive and informed treatment possible, the Disability Support Services office and Rice EMTs have developed a database to be used in medical emergencies.

The information will be stored on a personal digital assistant carried by the EMTs. When they arrive on the scene of the emergency, they will be able to determine if the patient will require any special attention or should be treated at a certain hospital.

“It’s just meant to give a feeling of assurance to an individual that if they have a crisis on the Rice campus, the folks coming to help will know a little bit about them,” said Jean Ashmore, director of Disability Support Services.

Ashmore said she initially was approached by students with medical conditions that did not require academic accommodations. However, these students wanted professors or emergency medical staff to know of their conditions.

All information that Ashmore collects will be kept completely confidential and will be distributed only to whom the participant identifies.

“The person and I will talk about who they want this information to go to,” Ashmore said. “Co-workers, boss, friend, or just the EMTs. It’s the individual’s choice. There may be people who are hesitant for others to know their particulars, and I respect that. So if they want only the EMTs to know about their condition, that’s their call.”

David Melville, a senior at Rice and EMS captain said all information is stored in a file at the EMS office and no others have access to the records.

“I can absolutely assure (participants) this information will be kept confidential,” he said. “We respect that trust, and the law says (it must be confidential).”

There are two forms Rice staff, faculty and students can fill out, depending on their medical condition. One deals with seizure disorders and the other pertains to general medical conditions. Both forms can be picked up at the Disability Support Services office, 122 Ley Student Center.

For more information, call the Disability Support Services office at (713) 348-5841 or visit the Web site, <>.

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