Tuesday, March 13, 2018

10 Things for a Health Emergency

The spouse was rushed to the hospital for a minor cardiac event last night.  While everything appears to be OK now, there were quite a few things that were good reminders for a health emergency...

  1. Know when you should drive someone to the ER and when to call 911.
  2. Have health insurance.  The health insurance system in the US is a hot mess but it is imperative to have some sort of health insurance, especially for unexpected emergencies.
  3. Have a mini-BOB for each member of the family in the car at all times.  When I look at all of the times I've had to use my car BOB over the years, it usually involved an unexpected overnight stay somewhere (hospital, hotel, friend's house, etc).  A change of clothes, toiletry kit, a couple bottles of water, some food, cell charger, etc are basically the things you need to spend a night away from home unexpectedly.
  4. Carry cash.  There are things at the hospital (like the cafeteria in this case) that only take cash.  Of course there is a convenient ATM nearby but you will pay to use it.  Carrying cash at all times takes care of this problem.
  5. Have a family communication plan.  This way you can communicate with one person (or a group text) and not have to answer the same questions 25 times.
  6. Be nice to the staff.  This hospital is pretty good (unlike the local level one trauma center/urban hospital which looks like Armageddon hit...on a daily basis).  Service here is not fast and there are several things they could do to improve efficiency but it is a good thing to be kind to the staff and appreciate their efforts which means they will be nicer to you.
  7. If you find yourself in a health emergency situation, it is a good idea to have someone with you to act as your advocate, to help you remember the things the doctors are telling you, and to ask questions that someone in crisis may not think of.
  8. Have a health info sheet you keep on your phone.  List current meds (prescription and over the counter), allergies, next of kin info. health history, etc.
  9. Have people you can call in an emergency.  Hopefully these people can watch your kids at the last minute, give you a ride if needed, bring necessary items from your home to you at the hospital, check your home if you won't be there for a few days, etc.
  10. Take notes.  If there are things you don't understand, ask.  If there are things you want to look up later, write it down, If you are given medication during your stay, write it down.  Keep a copy of all discharge paperwork, prescription information sheets, etc.   

No comments:

Post a Comment