blurAZ // Shutterstock
Medical information to have on hand in case of an emergency
Preparing for a medical emergency can mean the difference between immediate relief or exacerbated symptoms or, in some cases, life or death.
Guava Health compiled a list of important medical information to be prepared in case of an emergency. Having some key medical information can be important in helping doctors treat you for many different emergencies and health conditions. In some cases, such as with allergies to certain medications, your condition may actually worsen when doctors don’t know your medical history.
There are many ways to keep track of this information, from medical ID bracelets to a simple sheet of paper. Paper copies of medical history should be kept in several places, such as a wallet, glove compartment, and on the refrigerator at home, so that they are easy to locate. Some people prefer the convenience of emergency health information cardsthat offer easy and convenient ways to ensure that medical information is always at your fingertips.
When traveling, be sure to note the medical facilities closest to where you are staying, carry all emergency contact information with you, and ensure that all medical devices are visible. People with diabetes can also wear a continuous glucose monitor, which tracks glucose levels and relays the information to healthcare professionals.
BlurryMe // Shutterstock
List of allergies
If there is a situation where you become unconscious, having a list of your allergies is vital for emergency medical personnel. This can range from certain classes of drugs to latex, which can be found on doctors’ gloves. Some people with diabetes, for example, may have an allergic reaction to oral medications and injectable insulin.
When it comes to receiving medical care, emergency rooms are the most expensive. This is why insurance companies prefer their members to use lower-cost options such as urgent care centers, because it costs less for the insurer and lowers premiums for everyone. Insurance companies, however, cannot charge more if someone needs to get emergency care from an out-of-network hospital. Having your insurance card in your wallet at all times can help process and properly file medical bills to avoid headaches and discrepancies later.
Have a nice day Photo // Shutterstock
Emergency contact details
If you are hospitalized while unconscious, an emergency contact can act as an advocate to ensure you receive the best care possible. It is also helpful to have a family member or trusted friend designated to make decisions if you are unable or unfit to make decisions, whether unconscious or inconsistent. Emergency contacts can also provide moral and emotional support.
Medical ID Bracelet
The purpose of medical identification bracelets or necklaces is to allow paramedics and emergency responders access to critical medical information if a patient loses consciousness. Many paramedics are specifically trained to search for such jewelry. People often include information about chronic conditions, such as epilepsy and diabetes, that could impact their care.
Other useful information may include medications and allergies so that nothing you are allergic to is accidentally administered during treatment.
FellowNeko // Shutterstock
If you have a history of seizures, having a record of when they happened can help doctors recognize possible triggers. It can also help your family and loved ones know if you are having a seizure and which anti-epileptic drugs may be effective.
Some medications work better for different types of seizuresand not all seizures are caused by epilepsy, so knowing the type of seizures, whether focal (localized in one area of the brain) or generalized (affecting both sides of the brain) can determine the best treatment.
Ingo Bartussek // Shutterstock
List of current medications
People often have trouble remembering things in times of crisis. Keeping a list of current medications handy helps medical staff avoid over-prescribing or prescribing medications that may cause a negative reaction.
Keep an up-to-date list of all medications and keep it in your wallet or purse if you don’t carry a medical alert bracelet. This information may be useful for paramedics and other first responders, especially for people who may have conditions such as diabetes, as it is important to know if they are taking insulin. Some people may also see more than one doctor or go to more than one pharmacy to get their prescriptions filled. It is therefore even more important to maintain an up-to-date list of medications in this case.
Terelyuk // Shutterstock
Know which of eight common blood groups is in your body can save lives and is essential to better understand your health. This information is particularly useful if you need a blood transfusion with a compatible blood type. If there is cross-matching in the blood group, it may cause the blood cells to clump together, which can be fatal.
To find out your blood type, you can consult your doctor or a clinic that sends blood samples to laboratories for analysis.
This story originally appeared on Guava Health
and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.