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Be Prepared For a Medical Emergency Part 1

June 13, 2009

Your next medical emergency is just as likely to happen at 2:17am as it is at 3:15pm—any day of the week.

Your medical emergency may involve a trip to the local Emergency Room or an unexpected hospitalization. It could also happen while you are on vacation (in a strange town) or while you’re visiting Aunt Betsy at the old family homestead. No matter where it happens, you can be prepared.
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Make a List!

For yourself, and each member of the household, make a list of:

    * current medical issues (such as “diabetes”)
    * current medications
    * known allergies
    * physicians (family physician and specialists, if applicable)
    * prior hospitalizations
    * prior surgeries
    * current physical restrictions
    * family history (if applicable)

Current Medical Issues:
The obvious “issues” are diseases, disorders, syndromes, and any other “recognized” medical complaint (such as “migraines”).

You should also include “date (age) of onset” for each medical problem. If the list is more than two or three issues, arrange the list in chronological order, according to date (age) of onset.

Current Medications:

The hardest thing to “remember” in a time of medical emergency is what medications you are taking, medication strength, and medication dosage.

Often, you can remember that you take your heart medication in the morning—but do you remember the brand/generic name of each, the medication strength (usually indicated in “mg” [milligrams] or some other unit measurement), and how many times you take it each day (often indicated as something like “with each meal” on the prescription label).

The best way to make the list is to get all of your prescription medication (boxes, bottles, tubes) and put them on the table next to you. Pick up each and transfer the information that is on the label onto your list.

Be sure to include: drug name, drug strength, dosage (times per day), and prescribing doctor. You should also include over-the-counter (OTC) medications, including pain relievers, vitamins, herbal and nutritional supplements, and other medications (such as anti-acids).

BE HONEST. If you take more than the recommended dose or take untested or non-regulated drugs or supplements, then the doctor will need to know about it (as it may affect the manner in which you need to be treated). No insurance- Get It Here! eHealthInsurance – FREE Instant Quotes!


Keep the printout that you get from the pharmacy for each of your medications. Put the printouts in a file folder. This helps to centralize the information you will need about your medications.
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