Lance Armstrong is on your side - especially if you've struggled with cancer. The winner of seven consecutive Tour de France bicycling championships is a cancer survivor himself. As a matter of fact, he won his championships after he recovered from his cancer.
After recovering Lance established the Lance Armstrong Foundation to help further the research for a cure for all cancers. The catchphrase of his organization is "Livestrong." This is the attitude he has adopted for his life, and the attitude he encourages others to grab hold of.
There have been some close calls for hospital patients wearing his "Livestrong" bracelets. The yellow bracelets, which help fund his cause, look quite similar to some hospital's Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) bracelets. DNR bracelets are used to alert hospital staff of patients with terminal illnesses, who desire no heroic interventions.
It would be a horrible error - but, as we continue to see, hospital errors are often more common than we want to admit.
What can be done?
On a regulatory basis, the researchers who reported the confusion with the Livestrong bracelets are urging a nationwide standard be adopted. Though some states have standardized wristband colors, there is currently no national standard. The researchers believe such a standard would offer significant protection against misinterpretation of a patient's personal wristband.
There are also steps that can be taken on a personal basis.
For planned hospitalizations, simply remove all personal wristbands prior to admittance. And, if at all possible, have a relative, or friend, serve as your advocate while you are hospitalized. It is far too easy for you to make errors in judgment when you are in the hospital. You're stressed, sick, and tired. In other words, your brain is not functioning at the level required to adequately watch out for yourself. So, bring along a friend - a bright, quick-witted, outspoken friend is best.
For emergencies, consider placing a Medical Information card in your wallet or purse. Place it next to your drivers license, so authorities are likely to find it if you're incapacitated. Provide your emergency contact, list any known medication allergies, and provide a basic statement of your treatment desires. While not a legal document (like the DNR) it may avoid a deadly mistake.
Cell phone users can also program in an ICE number. The ICE number, which stands for In Case of Emergency, is entered, for example, as "ICE Donna," or, "ICE Mom." This allows emergency personnel to scan the cell phone and quickly identify the emergency number and the contact's name.To read more about the study, see this from ScienceDaily. To learn more about Lance Armstrong's group, see this from the Lance Armstrong Foundation.