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Complete Overview of Regulations: 42 CFR Part 2
Disclosures Without Patient Consent: Medical Emergencies


a.) Medical Emergencies

Patient identifying information may be disclosed to medical personnel who need the information to treat a condition posing an immediate threat to the health of any individual and requiring immediate medical intervention.126 Patient identifying information may also be disclosed to medical personnel of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) who believe that the health of any individual may be threatened by an error in the manufacture, labeling, or sale of a product under FDA jurisdiction, if the information disclosed will only be used to notify patients or their physicians of potential dangers.127

Immediately following disclosure for such medical emergencies, the program must document the disclosure in the patient's records, including:

  • The name of the personnel to whom disclosure was made and their affiliation with any health care facility;128
  • The name of the individual making the disclosure;129
  • The date and time of the disclosure;130 and

The nature of the emergency (or error, if the report was to FDA).131



  • 126. 42 CFR § 2.51(a).
  • 127. 42 CFR § 2.51(b).
  • 128. 42 CFR § 2.51(c)(1).
  • 129. 42 CFR § 2.51(c)(2).
  • 130. 42 CFR § 2.51(c)(3).
  • 131. 42 CFR § 2.51(c)(4).