A sudden medical emergency is a frightening event that many people are not prepared for. But there are steps you can take in advance to better handle a crisis situation.
First make sure all your important health information and contacts are readily available. Make duplicate copies of the information and keep it in a location that is accessible.
Add emergency contact information — including home, work and other important numbers in your cell phone: Identify these contacts as ICE, ( In Case of Emergency) rather than listing each number under a person’s name. Make sure your ICE doesn’t require a password, so that anyone can access the information as needed. If you begin to panic you might forget the password. One important toll-free phone number to have listed is the Poison Control Center hotline (800-222-1222), as well as your doctors and other emergency numbers.
Know why your doctor prescribed each medication. If you’re unsure, ask for a written list with the name of the drug, what medical problem(s) it treats and dosage limits and when you’re supposed to take it. Leave one copy at home and carry another in your wallet or purse with a written list of symptoms and contact numbers in your wallet or purse that can be easily found and accessed.
If you don’t wear an Emergency Contact (Medical Alert) Bracelet or Pendant, carry your cell phone in a “fanny pack” or easily accessible pocket, wallet or purse with emergency contact numbers clearly identified.
If you think you’re having a heart attack: call 911 immediately! Chew one regular aspirin or four baby aspirin (for better taste) to prevent blood clotting.
A Professional Home Care nurse companion can provide both long term care and immediate assistance and personalized strategies for emergency care and treatment.