How many times have you been sitting in a new doctor’s office, an emergency room, or a walk-in clinic and had to remember very important information for the endless forms like the one above you have to fill out?
The form asks you for the dates you had your last tetanus or flu shot, PAP test, colonoscopy, mammogram or physical.
They’ll ask you about surgeries you’ve had i.e. date, the name of the doctor, hospital you were in, what the surgery was, where it was performed, any complications, and other details.
Another important question will be about any allergies you may have; food, airborne, or medications of any kind including prescriptions and/or over-the-counter drugs like aspirin. This is especially important if you are allergic to any medications i.e. penicillin.
Could you give the answers ASAP especially if you’re hurt or sick? Chances are your answer is No.
Have you ever been in an emergency situation and been asked for vital information by a doctor or a paramedic?
Have you ever thought about how important certain information concerning your medical history or current medications would be to a paramedic or an ER doctor in an emergency situation especially if you’re unconscious and can’t communicate?
Do you have emergency contact information on you at all times in case you’re unconscious? Even if the paramedics were able to find information and contact your family, would your family member know or could they give all of the information a doctor or paramedic should have to properly treat you i.e. your current medical conditions i.e. diabetes, thyroid condition, high BP, etc.?
Would they know the exact medications AND supplements you currently take, the reason for the medication, the dosage and when you last took it? This information is vital to the doctor, nurse, and/or medic taking care of you. Not having this information could mean the difference between life and death… yours!!!
Instructions for creating the cards
If you have a computer and a printer and I’m assuming you do if you’re reading this post, you can easily create a set of Medical Emergency Information Cards containing this information using reasonably priced business card stock available in most office supply stores. The cards are small yet can contain vital information about you that could save your life in an emergency.
Using Microsoft Word, open the Avery business card layout template. Type in the information suggested below and print the cards. It may take from three to six cards to type in all of the information. Use a size 9 or 10 font. On the first card, you can insert a small headshot picture of yourself to serve as additional identification.
You can type some of information on the first page of ten cards (or more if you need them) then create a second page to add the rest. Print the cards front and back printing page one on the front and page two on the back. Staple them together at the left end. If you need help or have questions setting this up, use the Leave a Reply section below.
Stop back next week. I’ll be posting Part 2 of this article, “List of items to be sure to add to your medical emergency cards”.
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Gail S. Kibby White
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