Taking any family member to the emergency room is stressful, but if that person is your parent, a host of other issues crops up:things
like medical history, medication regimens, and insurance concerns. Learn what you need to have ready before that first emergency visit arises.
The American College of Emergency Physicians recommends gathering heath care information and medical records for each member of the family and keeping copies of those records in the home, car, first aid kit and wallet. This form should contain the following information:
Name and telephone number of the primary care physician and doctors providing specialty care.
Brief medical history, including chronic ailments (like asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease) and the dates of treatment or surgeries for major medical events (like a heart attack).
List of known allergies or reactions to medications.
List of current medications, dosages and when they are taken. Include any over-the-counter drugs or herbal remedies taken regularly. (This list should be checked frequently to ensure it is up-to-date.)
Name and telephone number of the patientís pharmacist.
Names, relationship and telephone numbers for emergency contacts.
Kellie Flood, M.D., Geriatrician with the University of Alabama at Birmingham, says other things to keep with the emergency contact list are a copy of the patientís insurance card (an original will still need to be presented to the hospital staff, but this will give them time to start the paperwork) and a copy of paperwork designating a healthcare power of attorney or healthcare proxy. All of this information should be given to the hospital when a loved one is taken to the ER.
Even if a patient has been in the ER previously, new copies should be given because information may have changed or the staff may not be able to quickly locate the patientís chart.
The American College of Emergency Physicians also recommends everyone who has a cell phone enter emergency contacts in their address book. These contacts should be designated as ICE (In Case of Emergency) and can be listed with references, like: ICE1 Ė dad, ICE2 - son, etc. If a person coming into the emergency room is unconscious or unable to talk, the cell phone can be used to locate people who can provide vital information to emergency physicians.
If you have any specific concerns on how to prepare for a potential trip to the ER for yourself or for a family member, speak with a health care provider.
To print out medical forms which you can print, fill out and take to the emergency room, go here.