Ataxia UK
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Emergency Medical Card

Do Ataxia Uk do a medical card to carry for emergencies?

Not wishing to be depressing but a number of years ago the hospital where my dad died, said that any other members of our family with SCA1, MUST tell the hospital that they are very prone to aspirating after operations.

My dad was rushed into hospital with a blocked gut. The doctors decided to operate after a day. The operation went well but in the recovery room when they removed the tube in his throat, he aspirated twice (because of his weak throat muscles). He was then moved to intensive care and died 11 days later.

It was a terrible accident that happened because they were not aware of this problem.

Please make sure that hospitals are aware of this possibility and if possible avoid general anaesthetics and have a spinal anaesthetic.

7 Replies

Hi Lit

The only card that Ataxia UK produces is the credit-card sized membership card which I have to say I carry with me everywhere. However for individual more detailed information for medical professionals in an emergency have you seen the 'Medic Alert' system?



Hello Harriet

Oh that sounds a really good idea with the membership card. I have no idea where mine is - must ask them for a new one!

I had never heard of 'Medic Alert', so thank you for that too.



Hi Litty

if you call the Helpline on 0845 644 0606 we will be happy to send you a new ID card. Or you can email to:



reading this inspired me into printing out a short note [nhs no,allergy's,ice nos a brief description of SCA] and folding it to fit in the photo part of my wallet [the bit with the window] with the words medical details showing, it is a cheap though not infallible thing that is easy to do,I hope it helps someone


Excellent idea!

In the 179 autumn issue of 'The Ataxian', page 20, it discusses the Lions Club 'Message in a bottle'.

It's free. The scheme is supported by Ambulance, Police Fire & Rescue and NHS Primary Care Trusts. Emergency medical information is kept in a bottle in the fridge. 2 labels, one on front door and the other on the fridge lets people know.

If you are interested please contact the local Lions Club 0845 833 9502

or email


Hi Litty my husband has one of those little bottles in the fridge,we got it free in the chemist about 6mnths ago.They are a really good idea!


It sounds a really good idea. I will get one definitely!


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