Five Ways Your Phone Can Save Your Life

Dr. Candace Worsham offers five tips


MONROE, LA – According to 2018 Pew Research data, 77 percent of Americans currently own a smartphone. Dr. Candace Worsham, a family medicine physician with St. Francis Medical Group, offers five tips for how your device can help save your life:

1.Learn how to activate Emergency SOS. There are many ways to activate your phone’s Emergency SOS feature. For some phones, you can activate the Emergency SOS feature by pressing the side button five times and then sliding the red slider to start the call to 911. Once your call with the dispatcher concludes, it will send a text message to your emergency contacts, notifying them of your current location.

2.Use the Medical ID function on your phone. The Medical ID allows you to store information that your doctor or a physician would need to know, especially in an emergency. You can record previous health ailments and allergies related to specific medications. Having this information preloaded and up to date is important in emergency situations. Emergency responders may need to know your medical history, medicines you’ve been taking, weight, height, blood type and more, and having it in your phone can help them help you.

3.Add and identify emergency contacts. It’s important to assign your emergency contacts in your phone before a dire situation arises, so they are pre-loaded if you ever need to activate Emergency SOS. Different phones have different steps to set up emergency contact information. It usually involves going to your Medical ID settings, where you can add family members or trusted friends’ information.

4.Teach your children to dial 9-1-1. You should teach your child how to dial 9-1-1 on both a landline and your cell phone as soon as they can play with a phone. Explaining to them when it’s appropriate to call such as when an adult can’t wake up, any fire that happens without an adult, etc. Make sure that your child knows to say his or her first and last name. Practice by role-playing different scenarios with an old, disconnected or even toy phone with your child to prepare them in case they ever need to dial 9-1-1.

5.Look for other health and emergency apps. There are many apps that help provide information in critical situations. Some apps can recommend self-treating techniques if no medical aid is available or help you pinpoint local CPR-qualified individuals within a certain radius for cardiac arrest incidents. It’s important to stay up-to-date on the technology available to help in emergency situations.

“Our phones absolutely have the potential to save our lives, especially since we always have them with us,” said Dr. Worsham. “The key is to be smart about how we use our phones by preloading information before an emergency arises and not using them while driving or in a situation where we should be paying attention.”

About Our Lady of the Lake

Our Lady of the Lake is a not-for-profit healthcare ministry based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with more than 7,500 employees committed to serving the Capital Region and building a healthy community through excellence in patient care and education. With an 800-bed Regional Medical Center, a dedicated Children’s Hospital, a 78-bed hospital in Gonzales, Louisiana, two freestanding emergency rooms, and a 500+ provider Physician Group, Our Lady of the Lake provides comprehensive healthcare services for common to complex conditions. Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center is a primary teaching site for graduate medical education programs and is recognized in the areas of heart and vascular, trauma and emergency care, stroke, cancer care, minimally-invasive procedures and more. Our Lady of the Lake is part of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System.

About Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital

Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital is Louisiana’s fastest growing children’s hospital treating more than 100,000 patients annually from across Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The hospital is the only healthcare provider in the Baton Rouge area that provides a full range of pediatric services ranging from a 24/7 pediatric emergency room to a team of more than 100 pediatricians and pediatric specialists. For more information, visit

The new freestanding Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital is currently under construction and is set to open in 2019. To learn more about the project, visit

About Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health

Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health is a collaborative, coordinated and child-focused statewide health network that provides patients with more access to physicians and providers specifically trained to care for children. The network includes hospital-based services at the main campus of Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital in Baton Rouge, as well as St. Francis Pediatrics in Monroe and Our Lady of Lourdes Women's and Children's in Lafayette. It also connects pediatricians, pediatric specialists and other health providers across our state with clinics in the Baton Rouge region, Hammond, Lafayette and Monroe. This model of coordinated pediatric healthcare extends the vital work happening at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital into more communities across Louisiana so families have greater access to expertise close to home.

About the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System

The Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System is one of the largest healthcare systems based in Louisiana and is the leading healthcare provider for more than half the state’s population. The health system is a non-profit, Catholic organization sponsored by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady. Headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the ministry serves patients in Louisiana and Mississippi through a network of hospitals, clinics, physicians, elderly housing and integrated systems. The health system’s unified physician organization is comprised of 900 adult and pediatric primary care physicians and specialists. The system’s nine hospitals include St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge and Gonzales, Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center, Heart Hospital, and Women's & Children's in Lafayette, Our Lady of the Angels in Bogalusa, and St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi. For more information, visit

About Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group

With more than 450 healthcare providers throughout more than 70 locations, Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group is one of the area’s largest physician networks. In addition to primary care, this experienced group of doctors specializes in diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of illnesses and complex medical problems.

About St. Elizabeth Physicians

St. Elizabeth Physicians is the largest provider of primary and specialty care in Ascension Parish, employing over 50 primary care physicians, specialists and providers. St. Elizabeth Physicians has been recognized for quality by the Louisiana Quality Foundation, and as the Large Business of the Year twice by the Ascension Chamber of Commerce. For more information, visit the St. Elizabeth Hospital website.

About St. Francis Medical Center

St. Francis Medical Center is a not-for-profit 316-bed medical center in Monroe, Louisiana with more than 1,800 team members committed to caring for those we serve. With an acute-care hospital, freestanding outpatient center, 19 outpatient clinics, and nearly 350 physician partners, St. Francis Medical Center provides comprehensive healthcare services for a variety of medical and surgical specialties. St. Francis offers Northeast Louisiana’s only Level III NICU, Level III OB, and Level II PICU services. St. Francis Medical Center leads the region in heart and vascular services, critical care, and complex and minimally invasive surgical procedures. The hospital offers an Accredited Chest Pain Center and Centers of Excellence in the areas of obstetrics, bariatric surgery, minimally invasive gynecology, and breast health.

About St. Francis Medical Group

With over 50 healthcare providers at 16 clinic locations, St. Francis Medical Group is one of the area’s largest physician networks and is backed by the resources of St. Francis Medical Center. In addition to primary care, this experienced group of providers specializes in diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of illnesses and complex medical problems. For more information visit the St. Francis Medical Center website.