ICE catching on for cell phone Emergency Contacts

More from ACEP in NOLA:

US News & World NewsGot your cell phone handy? Take a moment right now to put “ICE” by the names of the people you’d want called in case of emergency.
That’s what “ICE” stands for — “in case of emergency.”

McKenna’s team gave surveys to 423 emergency department patients.
Most of the 285 patients with cell phones didn’t know about ICE. Only 76 said they had heard of ICE and 26 said they had already put ICE in their cell phones.

That’s actually pretty good!  Show me a third of people who hear about a good idea but then act on it, and that’s remarkable.

Most of the patients who had their cell phones with them agreed to learn about ICE while in the emergency department.
Afterwards, 129 patients agreed to have ICE programmed into their cell phones while they were in the emergency department.

Why not, there’s not much else to do.

Okay, it’s in mine, and my parents’ (I put it there); how about yours?


Oh, if this sounds familiar: July, 2005


  1. done. thanks doc.

  2. Yep – thanks to YOU, did it July 2005. Hopefully, it will never be used. Also carry a card with all pertinent info in wallet and on key chain.
    Father-in-law had such info, and when hospital couldn’t reach his wife after a horrible accident, they called our house. Not expecting a call from Parkland Hosp, and they were using his whole name instead of the initials everyone called him by, I first told them that must be someone else. But when my brain kicked in, I was able to locate Mom and get her to his side.
    Communication, Communication, Communication.

  3. done, thanks. And it will be done on my husbands and step-son’s as soon as I get to their phones as well :-) Oh, and also sent a mass email to all my friends!

  4. Beary Potter says:

    Yep, I added ICE as soon as I read it first in your e-mail awhile ago and have told others to do the same. Thanks for the reminder!

  5. I’m hoping they’ll read my Medic-Alert medallion before they start looking for my cell phone. If they do that, the nice folks at Medic-Alert have agreed to notify several people for me in case I can’t. It will also help keep me alive long enough for that to matter, due to a few minor allergies.

    Yes, I also have the cell phones programmed, but instead of ICE, we put the number 1 in front of the ICE numbers — that way they float to the top of the list and nobody has to look for them. I probably should amend that to 1CE, just to make things perfectly clear. They’ll still be at the top of the list and it will look enough like ICE to make the difference.