The SOS Card Project

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The SOS Card

Your life-saving, multi-lingual “health card”

The SOS Card is a multi-lingual emergency ID with your most relevant medical information. With the same size as a credit card, it easily fits in your purse and can be a big help for the doctors when you urgently need medical help, especially in countries where you cannot speak the local language.

What does the SOS Card look like?

The multi-lingual SOS Card is a photo card in the shape of a credit card, so you can easily carry it in your purse or wallet.

The front side of the SOS Card shows identification features:

The picture shows the front view of the SOS Card. The card is light yellow with a top border in red with white stripes and the text “SOS”. At the bottom is a barcode field with the user name.

(1) Name (in native writing)
(2) Pronunciation using the international phonetic alphabet (IPA)
(3) Date of birth (ISO notation: Year-Month-Day), Sex
(4) Language skills as ISO code: mother tongue on dark blue, foreign languages on light blue
(5) Blood group and Rhesus factor
(6) User-name in OCR (for the reader pen) and as barcode (3 of 9)
(7) Photo
(8) 1/1: rarely, the emergency ID consists of more than one card; card sequence number

The reverse side shows essential medical information for the case of an emergency:

The picture shows the rear view of the SOS Card. This side is also in the signal colours yellow and red.

(1) in the upper part: pre-existing illnesses, allergies etc. in English, Chinese, Spanish, French, Russian and Thai
(2) in the lower part: current medication, the active substances are given as generic names and as CAS number
(3) Via the web-site, using the user-name (given on the front of the card) and the Card Validation Code (CVC), all indications of this card can be retrieved in further languages. Furthermore, a complete list of medication, contact data of family members, documents (such as, an advance health care directive). The CVC may be hidden behind a scratch-off field on some cards.

  • It has bright signal colours so paramedics can quickly find it.
  • It shows your name and your photo on the front side, so you can easily be identified.
  • The name is also given in International Phonetic Alphabet, as it is important that the doctor can pronounce your name correctly.
  • The reverse side shows all essential medical data in several languages. This way, the paramedics can provide best medical help even without computer access!

Do you love travelling in foreign countries and experiencing foreign cultures?

If so I am sure you already know the blessings of a credit card. With one of these you can get money from an ATM pretty much anywhere in the world in just a few seconds.

What about your medical history?

If you have the misfortune to suffer a traffic accident or if you are just taken by “Montezuma´s revenge” (traveller's diarrhoea), you will quickly realise that the English skills of the local medical personnel is often limited (… and I bet you don't know your GP's fax number by heart).

The SOS Card is an international traveller's “health card” – a photo card showing your name, date of birth, blood type, as well as all important medical preconditions (such as, allergies, pre-existing illnesses, implants, etc.) translated into several languages. Wherever you go, the local doctor or paramedic should be able to read at least one of these languages.

This multi-lingual SOS Card is a must for

  • Globetrotters
  • Business travellers
  • International holidaymakers

How can you get your own SOS Card?

  1. Get the questionnaire for your medical history via your local bookseller (ISBN 978-0956324030, publication data and other language versions see here)
  2. Fill-in the questionnaire. Best practice: Ask your GP and your dentist for help!
  3. Send it back to The SOS Card Project team. You can register a web account here and upload your questionnaire.
  4. The SOS Card Project team will pick the relevant data, make your individual SOS Card, and send it to you.

Where can you get your own SOS Card?

The SOS Card Project cooperates with medical doctors, hospitals, international fellowships, friendship clubs etc. world-wide. They can help you to get your own SOS Card.

You want to produce your own SOS Cards?

That's so simple: Become a member in The SOS Card Project! We have put together some information on this page.

How can I help to translate and to improve this website?

You can help to translate the pages of The SOS Card Project in other languages, and check existing pages for consistency and correctness.

You have questions regarding The SOS Card Project?

Let more people know about The SOS Card Project!

Tell your colleagues at work, your friends, your neighbours. It may end up to save their live!