Monday, May 21, 2007

How to Prepare For Any Medical Emergency

There are so many medical experts bouncing around the airwaves that one could get dizzy trying to follow them all. If those experts had their way we would live in a glass bubble until the day we die. However as humans we know that life is about living and living involves risk. So knowing how to prepare for any medical emergency is as simple as being ahead of the curve with the right information. And having the right information can be is the difference between basking at a day spa or cooling at a funeral home.

First things first common sense is free. You own it, so let’s start there. The most involved person in your personal health care should not be your doctor. It should be you! Your doctor performs a physical assessment as a nurse records their findings in your medical records. The way any physician knows how to treat you is by finding out what is wrong first and going from there. The way any other doctor, who has never seen you before, can treat you effectively is by knowing what health issues you have. So the first thing you should do in preparation for a potential heart attack or stroke is write down these critical items:

1. Your Name
2. Your Date of Birth(do you know how many people have your name)
3. Your Doctor's Name
4. Your Doctor's Phone Number(Doctors have the same name also)

If you suddenly became critically ill or better yet you were unable to speak during a sudden illness who could you trust to give accurate medical information about you? If you answered: spouses, a parent, a girlfriend/boyfriend, a co-worker, give yourself 0 points. Only YOU know the most about YOU! And having well meaning E.R Doctor play Russian roulette with your health, while the person you trust freaks completely out is solely your fault. So also written down somewhere in your home you should have:

1. A complete list of current prescription drugs
2. A list of Over the Counter medications
3. Any Herbal Supplements (these interact with some drugs)
4. Pertinent Past Medical History i.e. Strokes, Seizures. HIV
5. Drug and Food Allergies

And you should tell someone well advance where this information is located. If you are traveling you should have a listing in your phone that states ICE on In Case of Emergency. The person on the other end of that number entry should have a copy of your medical information.

So let’s recap. To increase your survivability during medical emergencies you must have pertinent, accurate and current information concerning our health written down somewhere and a rational, trusted person who knows where you placed it. Also when the time does come when you are unable to speak or move during an emergency IT IS TOO LATE. And remember participation in your own health care is just as critical as having health insurance.


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