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Be Prepared for An Emergency!

  • Visit your local EMS provider to develop an individualized plan in the event of an adrenal crisis.

Click HERE  to get tips for a successful EMS provider visit and print a copy of our Emergency Instructions and bring them with you!

  • Ask your EMS provider to flag your address in the 911 system so that emergency personnel are aware of your adrenal insufficiency status.

Emergency Medical Care for CAH

Did you know that most ambulances do not carry Solu-cortef®? Furthermore, they are not allowed to administer the shot even if you have it? We are working to develop EMS protocols for emergency medical treatment of CAH and other adrenal insufficiencies. Too many people suffer from delayed medical care in emergency situations.

CARES Foundation advocates for the inclusion of treatment for adrenal insufficiency in EMS protocols with on-going appeals across the nation.

EMS Campaign

Since 2009, CARES Foundation has been advocating for immediate, appropriate emergency medical response for adrenal crisis.

Current EMS protocols of many states do not:

  • address adrenal insufficiencies
  • allow emergency medical response personnel to treat individuals with medical id that says “adrenal insufficiency” on it
  • doctor’s orders that detail medical treatment protocols for adrenal crisis
  • properly labeled medications

Why is this important?

People who do not have adrenal insufficiencies naturally produce up to ten times the normal amount of cortisol, which is vital to the maintenance of blood pressure and heart muscle tone, as well as sugar and salt balance, during times of physical stress. When illness or injury occurs in adrenally insufficient individuals, however, an immediate additional dose of glucocorticoids (hydrocortisone) is necessary to avert adrenal crisis. Delay in administration of these medications can lead to shock, heart failure and death.

Signs of adrenal crisis, which are not readily identifiable, include:

  • Pallor
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Weakness/lethargy
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting/nausea
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Hypotension
  • Shock
  • Heart failure
Individuals affected by CAH are not always in the immediate care of someone trained in or comfortable with administration of a hydrocortisone injection. For example: a child at school when there is no school nurse, an adult affected by CAH living alone, an automobile accident in which the caregiver is incapacitated, a family on holiday outside of their “home” support network. Thus, it is important to be able to rely on EMS during an adrenal crisis.

Campaign Goals

1. Emergency medical responders have training, protocols and medications necessary to provide immediate appropriate medical response when treating individual with medical alert identification marked “adrenal insufficiency”

(According to a recent CARES Foundation-sponsored survey, 75% of individuals affected by CAH wear medical alert identification)

2. All US emergency management systems’ (EMS) formularies include Solu-Cortef® which is:

  • drug of choice for treatment of CAH in times of adrenal crisis
  • provides both glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid coverage
  • safe
  • five years shelf-life
  • inexpensive (~$11.00 per act-o-vial)

States with EMS Protocols in Place

Adrenal Insufficiency Treatment Protocols in Place in:

Administration of Patient-Carried Medications Available in:

Current Campaigns

CARES Foundation members and support groups are leading initiatives for the expansion of emergency medical response protocols to include the pre-hospital treatment for adrenal insufficiency in numerous states across the country.

How You Can Help

In those states where we have on-going campaigns, concerned residents can make a huge impact. Affected individuals and their families can truly help our appeal by getting involved and urging the addition of Solu-Cortef® to EMS formularies and emergency treatment protocols for CAH and other adrenal insufficiencies. Look at the chart below to learn more about your state. Please take the time to write a letter, visit your local firehouse and join a campaign. (Then email us what you did.)

Useful Links

  • CARES Foundation Emergency Instructions Brochure
  • Injection Training Video for CAH
  • All people who are Adrenal Insufficienct/Steroid Dependent should wear Medical Identification that says: Adrenal Insufficent/Steroid Dependent. Administer Solu-Cortef (with appropriate dosage).
  • Global Genes™  – one of the leading rare disease patient advocacy organizations in the world.

Together we can make a real difference!