Below is a list of suggested Item Headings and Information to include in your Medical Emergency Information Cards and Information Documents:
* Your name, address, phone number, status: Living alone, single, married, working, retired, living with a roommate, etc. Be sure to give the names of the people you live with and their contact information.
* Emergency Contacts: Include the relationship i.e. daughter, son, husband, wife, friend, significant other, fiancé, roommate, etc. List all phone number for these people i.e. cell, home, work, etc.
* Insurance Information: Be sure to type in ONLY the last few digits of your insurance policy number, the name and address of the insurance company and their claims phone number. NEVER include your full social security number, policy numbers, or passwords to your insurance information. If you give that information and your emergency information card is lost or stolen, it could be used by others to use your insurance.
* Physicians: Include their specialty i.e. primary care, gynecologist, dermatologist, optometrist, surgeon, etc. Give their phone and fax numbers as well as their addresses.
* Current Medical Issues: Cancer, diabetes, high BP, asthma, psoriasis, MS, thyroid condition, lupus, leukemia, strokes, emphysema, Alzheimer’s, HIV, Aids, Hep C, etc.
* Surgeries: Include the reason for the surgery, date, where it was performed, and the physician. Also list any complications that may have occurred either before or after the surgery.
* Current Medications AND Supplements: Over-the-counter vitamins and supplements CAN interact with other medications. IF you end up in the ER or with a doctor NOT familiar with your history and leave this out, it could mean the difference between life and death.
* Allergies: Airborne, food, animals, latex, medications, vitamins, lotions and any other items that you are have allergic reactions to. If you know it, put down the date when you had your first reaction and/or were diagnosed with this allergy. They may also ask you what your reaction is i.e. a rash (describe), short of breath, hives, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.
* Implants: Replacement lenses from cataract surgery, hip, knee, heart or other replacement, pins or screws from bone fractures, heart monitor or pacemaker. If you have any type of implant and the doctor gave you the information as to the model number, manufacturer, etc., be sure to add that.
* Immunizations: Flu, tetanus shot, pneumonia, measles, etc. Be sure to mark down the dates and keep this information up to date.
* Tests: Blood tests, MRI, CAT Scans, PAP, colonoscopy, dates, doctor, hospital and the reason for the tests.
If you know your blood type, be sure to add it. If you’ve given blood and you have credit for the blood given, be sure to include this in case you ever need blood yourself.
* Are you an organ donor?
* Do you wear glasses or contact lenses or have glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, dry eye, or other eye issues?
* Do you have a hearing loss or wear a hearing aid?
* Do you wear dentures?
* Special Diet Considerations: In case you’re in the hospital be sure to note if you have any food allergies, are diabetic or have digestive issues i.e. Crohn’s disease or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
* Family History: Any information a doctor or paramedic should know about i.e. your family has a history of heart disease, diabetes, high BP, asthma, cancer (type), Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, HIV, Aids, etc.
* Other considerations: Be sure to list all other important considerations i.e. prone to seizures, depression, and any and all other issues that can periodically occur.
Keep one set of cards in your wallet, every purse, the glove compartment in your car, on your refrigerator with a magnet in plain sight and in every suitcase when you travel.
Give copies to your family, a neighbor, a close friend, the office of the complex where you live, a coworker and/or your employer. Ask your family to create Emergency Medical Information Cards as well and carry them with them at all times.
I keep a copy of this information printed out and placed in a manila folder on the top of my refrigerator plainly marked in large red letters: MEDICAL INFORMATION FOR ….. (YOUR NAME).
On the refrigerator door I have an 8/12” x 11” page with my picture on it marked, “FOR MEDICAL INFORMATION ON (NAME), PLEASE TAKE THE ENVELOPE ON TOP OF THE REFRIGERATOR.
On that same page, print any other CRITICAL information a paramedic should know immediately
* Do you live alone?
* Do you live with husband, wife, son, daughter, caregiver, roommate?
* Are you living in an assisted living facility? If Yes, give the name of the facility, address, phone numbers and name of people or person to contact.
Last but not least, if you have a relative or are caring for someone with dementia, strokes, Alzheimer’s or other illnesses that have severely impaired them, suggest they have a family member complete this information for them or do it for them yourself.
Not only do these cards come in handy in an emergency, but as a reference for you should you find yourself in the hospital, a doctor’s office or even in an ambulance and need this information. If it’s an emergency situation and you are conscious, you can hand it to the paramedic, doctor, or nurse or tell them where to find it. They can serve as a reminder of things you probably would not have thought of or remembered.
If you’re unable to communicate, chances are an ER doctor or paramedic will check your purse or wallet for identification information and find the card. It’s accurate and contains everything they need to know about you in order to properly treat you.
I hope you never need the Emergency Medical Information Card and Information Documents but I guarantee it, if you put these together, it will give you peace of mind just knowing you have it. If you do need it, it could help save your life.
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Thanks again for stoppin’ by.
Gail S. Kibby White
Food for thought: “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” (Confucius)