Tuesday, February 5, 2008

DPT--Emergency Info on Your Fridge

An acquaintance had a major medical incident a couple of days ago which required a call to 911, a ride in the ambulance, and a multi-day stay in the hospital. I just happened to arrive at his house as the incident was unfolding--he was unable to provide any information to the paramedics and I knew basically nothing about him so the medics had to garner what little information they could from random messages on the fridge and the prescription bottles in the bathroom. To provide information to emergency responders when you are physically unable to do this, you need a paper on your refrigerator with the following information for each family member:

  • Full name, address, birth date, contact phone number
  • Name and phone number of your doctor
  • Name and phone number of your emergency contacts (at least two people)
  • Pertinent medical history (illnesses, surgeries, chronic diseases, etc)
  • All current medications that you are taking (both prescription and over-the counter: name, dosage)
  • A POLST (Physician's Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) or DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) form. These forms need to be signed by your doctor and provide information on what life-sustaining treatments you want performed and which treatments you don't want performed in an emergency situation. These forms are usually provided to patients who have a terminal disease or a serious chronic condition.

You may also want to have: a medical power of attorney, a Living Will, and an organ donor designation.

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