Polio Medi Alert Card launched
The Post Polio Support Group (PPSG) has launched a new Medi Alert Card for Polio Survivors, which helps to ensure that recognition is given to the specialised treatment that may be required by Polio Survivors during routine procedures.
With Polio now eradicated in Ireland, many medical professionals are often unaware of the Late Effects of Polio, or Post Polio Syndrome (PPS), which can impact on the almost 7,000 survivors estimated to live in Ireland.
Late Effects of Polio and Post Polio Syndrome can include severe muscle weakness and fatigue, increased pain and intolerance to cold, difficulty breathing and swallowing and difficulty waking after anaesthesia.
It is essential that any Polio Survivor going into hospital for any treatment, would highlight these issues to their treating health professionals and this new card can help them to do so.
The card indicates what special care is needed
PPSG advises that Polio Survivors keep the card on them at all times and show it to anyone providing treatment or prescribing medicine to them, for any medical condition, whether or not it is related to Polio. As well as information on the Late Effects of Polio, the card indicates drugs to be avoided or applied with special care.
One PPSG member found that showing the card to her consultant in Limerick’s Barringtons Hospital resulted in a great deal of interest and appropriate concern, saying, “In the ward before going to theatre, the anaesthetist came to see me and was very thorough and spent quite a lot of time with questions and discussion. She said she’d spent two hours the previous evening reading up about Post Polio.”
It is intended that the Medi Alert card will ensure better outcomes for polio survivors and greater awareness of Polio/Post Polio Syndrome among the medical profession. The card is available free of charge from PPSG – contact 01 889 89 20, firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.ppsg.ie.
PPSG acknowledges the cooperation of the European Polio Union in producing this card. The Medi-Alert card is relevant to all Polio survivors, not only those with a diagnosis of Post Polio Syndrome. Further information on these issues for medical professionals is also available by contacting the organisation.
About the Post Polio Support Group
The Post Polio Support Group was established for Polio Survivors by Polio Survivors in 1993. We are the only organisation in Ireland providing practical support (and sometimes more importantly a listening ear) to those unfortunate enough to have contracted Polio when babies or young children.
We provide stair lifts, callipers, bespoke footwear, electric scooters and wheelchairs. We also help Survivors access Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Respite Breaks, as well as other supports. The group works to raise awareness, provide information on Polio and its late effects and to ensure Polio Survivors can live with dignity.
You can contact the Post Polio Support Group on 01 8898920.