People who take steroid medications every day of their life, will need to carry a steroid card which identifies to healthcare professionals that their medication cannot be stopped.

Steroid cards provide life-saving information should an individual become seriously ill or unconscious and are unable to communicate their health problems effectively. They are a simple but important step to help people should they become unwell and support their independence. 

New NHS Steroid Emergency Card (Adult)

In August 2020, the Society for Endocrinology, Royal College of Physicians, and NHS England’s Patient Safety team released an NHS steroid emergency card (SEC). This is a patient-held prompt to healthcare professionals when the patient is in crisis, as an emergency, or when undergoing surgery or a procedure to ensure steroid treatment is given appropriately and promptly. In addition, the card contains a QR code that links to further specialist advice on the Society for Endocrinology website.

A National Patient Safety Alert was issued alongside the card, as well as new medical guidance providing vital information on the prevention and emergency management of adrenal insufficiency.

Here we list the types of card available and supporting resources.

ADSHG Adrenal Crisis Emergency Wallet Card 

Authored by the ADSHG clinical advisory panel the card is credit card sized and concertina in style providing:

  1. Details on the treatment required to prevent an adrenal crisis in the event of serious injury or illness. 
  2. Write-in space for individual details of allergies and other conditions, NHS identity number, date of birth and GP contact details.

The card is available from our from our online shop and is included in the postal charity member packs.

These adrenal guidelines are also available in letter format and have been translated into a variety of languages. Find out more.

  1. Society for Endocrinology Adrenal Crisis Page (inc information on how HCP's can order cards for their patients)
  2. Direct link to download the NHS Steroid Emergency Card
  3. Read the ADSHG News item on the release of the NHS card.

British Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes (BSPED) 

Paediatric Steroid Treatment Card for Adrenal Insufficiency 

GP Pulses Article: 'Early recognition and treatment of adrenal crisis'

Note: Article includes information on requirement for adequate quantities of steroids (three months’ supply available at all times), emergency hydrocortisone injection medication (Solu-cortef or hydrocortisone sodium phosphate 100mg) and needles and syringes should be prescribed, to allow for increased dosing during intercurrent illness and emergency.

Issue March 2021, pages 34-35. Authored by ADSHG Medical Trustees: Dr Helen L Simpson, endocrine nurse specialist Lisa Shepherd and Dr Steve Kell.

National Patient Safety Alert

‘Steroid Emergency Card to support early recognition and treatment of adrenal crisis’

Guidance on the prevention and emergency management of adult patients with adrenal insufficiency 

Authors: Helen Simpson, Jeremy Tomlinson, John Wass, John Dean and Wiebke Arlt

Want to display the card on your mobile phone?

Read our News item to find out more.

Steroid cards should be carried in addition to medical jewellery, emergency hydrocortisone injection kit and extra steroid medication.

Get ready! Find out more about these items.

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