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Why you and your family should know your family medical history

Why you and your family should know your family medical history
By Kristina James
Published by Ruby

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Medical emergencies can be overwhelming to say the least. In these situations, every second counts and medical professionals need as much information on your health as possible. It is essential that you (or your family) can provide that information without delay to ensure that you get the necessary care. In this article, we explain why having immediate access to your family medical history is vital in an emergency.


Why it’s important.

Informing the emergency medical professionals about your family medical history is like giving them a pair of glasses – it helps them view your condition with new clarity. When they are aware of your family history, they may be able to connect the dots between your symptoms and the root cause in an emergency.

According to eMedicineHealth, this can save valuable time. Instead of ordering unnecessary diagnostic tests, the medical staff will be able to focus their energy on getting you the care you need. Having this information can also help ensure that they prescribe the medication that is right for you. For example, if the medical team treating you know you have a family history of heart disease, they may avoid treating you with certain antibiotics that are known to cause issues with the heart.


Keep your family in the loop.

It helps to make sure your loved ones are knowledgeable about your family medical history in case they need to communicate on your behalf during an emergency. In this situation, you will be reliant on your family members to supply the medical professionals with the necessary information.

We often forget that although we know about health conditions that have occurred in our family, our spouses, partners, or kids may not. Or even if they do, they may not remember in the moment. Having that information organized and accessible will not only empower them to help you when you need it most, but also empower them to make informed health decisions for themselves.


What you need.

So, what kind of information should you include in your family medical history? Healthline suggests that more information is better in this scenario. You may choose to include information pertaining to your immediate relatives – siblings, parents, and children – as well as medical information on your extended family.

Recording serious medical conditions which are genetic in nature is essential, but an illness like Lyme disease is not necessary. Your family medical history can also include your relatives’ medical cause of death, their age when they passed, age of disease onset, and ethnic background, as some ethnicities are more prone to certain diseases.

Ruby can help.

Let us help you prepare ahead of time for a medical emergency. With the Ruby Medical Information Kit, you can store information about your family medical history and access it on any computer, tablet, or mobile device when you need it.

The Medical Information Kit can also be shared with trusted family members so they can communicate on your behalf. This way, if a loved one needs to advocate for you in a medical emergency, or you are overwhelmed and forget certain details, you have a tool to assist doctors in getting you the best care possible.

Create your Medical Information Kit here.


For more information on how to be be prepared for any health emergency, take a look at Medical Emergencies: Planning for the Unexpected.

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