Medical • 3 minute read
Medical Emergencies: Planning for the unexpected
By Kristina James
Published by Ruby
Ruby helps you and your family prepare and organize life's important information.
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Medical emergencies normally happen unexpectedly, and oftentimes, you are not in control of the situation. That is why it is important for you to prepare all the essential information people need to know regarding your health before an emergency. The more medical professionals know about your health, the more capable they are to treat you.
So what information do you need exactly? Let’s talk about a few of the essentials.
There is a lot to consider when you experience a medical event. In the case of a medical emergency, it is crucial for you to know ahead of time what tools and information you will need. The first thing medics will need to know is your name and birth date, so make sure that information is accessible. The physician treating you will need to identify you so he or she can alert your loved ones that you are in the hospital. A few other essentials that are vital to have in case of an emergency are:
- Those who are treating you need to be aware of your current medications so that they do not prescribe you with something that will cause negative side effects when combined with your normal medication.
- Most medications have a list of possible side effects and informing your doctor will help him/her determine if this is the cause of your emergency.
Allergies to medications
- Medical professionals should be knowledgeable on your allergies to medications in order to avoid giving you a medication that has the potential to do you more harm.
- As with allergies to certain medications, your doctor needs to know about your food allergies to keep you from having an allergic reaction.
- Being aware of your food allergies also helps your doctor to determine if your health issue is connected to an allergy.
- You may be unable to speak for yourself which can keep you from communicating the details of your health insurance with hospital staff. Keep information like this in a designated location and share it with trusted loved ones so they can help you avoid unnecessary hospital bills.
Health directive or living will
- Having access to your health directive or living will is crucial in allowing your family to have the authority to carry out your wishes when you cannot advocate for yourself.
It is also helpful to keep your medical history on hand. You may know that heart disease or breast cancer runs in your family, but your children may not. In the case that you are indisposed in the hospital and your child or loved one needs to speak on your behalf, it is paramount that they have the relevant information to give your doctor. This is why it is not only important for you to have a record of your medical information, but it is imperative that you take the extra step and share it with your loved ones so they can advocate for you if the time comes.
By planning ahead you will also know where your medical documents, like HIPAA release forms, are when you need them. HIPAA release forms are documents signed by a patient that allow physicians to share your medical condition with others. Keeping documents like this in a location where you and your loved ones are able to access it, will help you rest assured knowing your family will be in a position to support you in an emergency.
Experiencing a medical emergency can be one of the most stressful moments of your life, and having quick access to information is key. Ruby has developed a tool that makes it easy to store and share that information so you and your loved ones are prepared for the unexpected. We can help you create your Medical Information Kit now.