A DARLINGTON couple who suffer from severe allergies have come up with a potentially life saving idea for those with serious medical conditions.

Diabetes and asthma sufferer Douglas McCullim and his wife, Alice, who suffers from multiple allergies, devised an ID card containing a full description of their conditions.

If they were taken ill or had an accident, helpful information would be at hand. The card is the size of a credit card and more convenient than information on a necklace or bracelet, says Mrs McCullim.

The couple thought it was such a good idea that they decided to launch their card commercially.

The Alymedcard bears a colour photograph, which instantly identifies the carrier and medical details, ensures the correct treatment is given without delay and that the next of kin is informed immediately.

Mrs McCullim, sales manager of CIDS, which produces the cards, said many people had conditions which were not immediately visible. These included transplant patients, epileptics and those who suffer from allergies - all cases where the wrong treatment or medication could prove fatal.

"However Alymedcard carriers, and their families, know that if an accident occurs, they will be cared for correctly," she said.

The card had been endorsed by the North Tees Hospital NHS Trust and East Cleveland Hospital, the couple said.

The North Tees authority displays Alymedcard posters and leaflets in waiting areas, doctors' surgeries, chemists' shops and health clubs.

"Feedback from health professionals has been extremely positive. They have been quick to recognise the benefits the card can provide," Mrs McCullim added.

It can also be used for those with hearing, speech and sight impairments, or by runners or athletes who often train alone. In addition, it can be produced in a number of languages, making it ideal for business trips and holidays abroad, she said.

For those with food allergies who love to eat out, the card can be handed to the chef who will be able to see, at a glance, which ingredients can and cannot be used.

The firm also provides child ID cards for school trips and outings and an allergy testing service, which uses hair samples to check intolerance levels.