Think about what information the paramedics and the emergency room staff might need to help you quickly in an emergency:
1. Patient identification: driver's license, insurance cards etc.
2. List of medical conditions and issues:
a. Diseases and conditions (Including blood type, allergies, etc)
b. Disabilities such as difficulty hearing, seeing etc. Does the patient have wear contact lenses, glasses, hearing aids etc.
c. Communications issues: What languages does the patient speak? Is the patient demented or have other reasons for not being able to respond appropriately to questions.
d. Religious beliefs that may affect care (eg no transfusions).
e. Patient preferences as delineated in a durable power of attorney for health care
3. List of medications and the name and contact information of the patient's pharmacy/pharmacist
4. Name and contact information for primary physician and other healthcare professionals the patient routinely sees.
5. Names of emergency contacts such as family and friends and how to reach them. The primary caregiver should also be identified so the hospital knows who to consult about health care decisions, discharge and tp orient on post hospital care.
Have I missed any other important information to have handy? Keep a card or list with this information in a convenient place such as the patient's wallet or purse or even on a smartphone. A simple card or list will do for many people without a complicated health history but elderly and those with a more complicated situation should consider signing up for Medic Alert.
In addition, consider a "Go Bag" containing such things as a change of clothes, slippers, toiletries, medications, flashlight etc that might be needed in a sudden trip to the emergency room.
Posted by Sam Shimomura, PharmD, FASHP