Be prepared for a medical emergency
A medical emergency can hit you quicker than you’d ever expect. We learnt this late last year. “You need to sit down. Mom had to be hospitalised and will need an emergency surgery.” It’s the call I never want to have again! While the events of that day could have spiralled downwards, they luckily didn’t. And I’m very grateful for it!
Parts of it was due to my mom’s record keeping. Who would have known? I certainly have mocked her for it – and no longer do! She still tracks different health measures on a regular basis and we all know where she notes down her scores. Not in a fancy app, no, in a simple blue book. She also kept and still keeps her health information in one place. That day in late 2018, it was easy for my sister to pick up the folder and take it to the emergency, giving doctors more information to proceed with the appropriate surgery. This peace of mind during a highly stressful period is what I’d like you to have, too!
Create your own medical folder
In your medical folder, keep information like:
- Name, date of birth, gender, address and phone number
- Any allergies
- The names of any medication you use plus the doses and schedules
- Any chronic conditions and description how they are treated (e.g. asthma, diabetes)
- Any medical equipment
Keep track of your medical history:
- Any previous illnesses, surgeries and other medical cases
- Your immunisation records
List contact details:
- Name and phone number of your doctors (specify their area, e.g. GP, dentist)
- Include names, addresses and phone numbers of local emergency services, poison control centres and hospital
- Name and phone number of your personal emergency contact (e.g. spouse, child or friend) who’s to be contacted by the emergency responders
Instructions for the unexpected:
- A living will (probably one of the most difficult papers to go through and sign)
Using an app or paper?
Both ways to keep your medical folder up-to-date has advantages and disadvantages as you probably guessed already.
An app can be taken no matter where you are. Access may, however, be restricted by a password, preventing anyone not knowing it from logging in. In an emergency situation, this is surely not ideal.
But neither is keeping a paper file. Most likely, you’re not taking it with you everywhere. Emergency responders are therefore just as clueless as with the app. What’s important is that whoever is your personal emergency contact knows where to find your medical folder.
Linking an app to a patient portal may be the alternative. Apple has announced its move into this arena just a few days ago and would combine records from multiple portals into one medical file. Unfortunately, not every country uses online patient portals for a variety of reasons, so this may be out for most of us for us.
We’ve found a simple trick of sticking to one system and repeatedly talking about it with your personal emergency contacts, preparing their subconsciousness for the unplanned.
As hard as may sound to prepare what we never wish to experience, set up a medical emergency folder for each member of your family. Start creating yours today! Do you want more support? Contact us and let’s chat how we can remove the anxiety of medical emergencies for you.
Until next time,