A medical emergency can strike at any time, so everyone must prepare for one to the best of their ability. Unfortunately, not everyone knows what they need to do to prepare for one. That’s why we’ve decided to write this guide on the subject. We’re hoping that this guide will help all of our readers be better prepared for the medical situations that befall themselves or their families. After all, a person who is properly prepared and gets medical attention immediately is more likely to survive than a person who doesn’t.
The Importance Of Being Prepared For Medical Emergencies
Some people don’t bother to prepare for a medical emergency because they don’t feel that it’s something that’s going to affect them. Unfortunately for these people, that’s completely wrong. According to the CDC, 43.3 people out of 100 will visit an emergency room during an average year. That means that each year there are almost 140 million emergency room visits in the U.S alone. And approximately 2 million of those people are going to require admission to a critical care unit. Therefore, it’s vitally important to prepare for a medical emergency as vigorously as you would for any other natural disaster.
Preparing For A Medical Emergency
Preparing for a medical emergency doesn’t have to be a chore or take a long time, however. There are several things that every person can do right at this moment that will help them when they or their family members need to seek medical attention. Let’s examine some of them.
Step One: Prepare A Go Bag
The first step to making sure that you’re prepared for a medical emergency is to keep a “Go Bag.” A go-bag is a bag that contains the person’s medications, a list of allergies and medications, and Advanced Directives that the person might need.
The bag should also have several lists in them. These can be written in a notebook or placed on a Flash drive. One list should contain all of the person’s past and present medical conditions, all of the surgeries they’ve had, and any diseases that their family members may have suffered from such as diabetes or cancer.
The second list should have all of the medications and supplements that the person takes, including the name, dosage, and frequency of when those medications are taken. The third list should contain all of the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the person’s health care team—including any primary care or specialty doctors they may receive treatment from.
The fourth list should be a list of the person’s emergency contacts. It’s preferable that the person includes more than one emergency contact on their list, so that if one can’t be reached by the hospital, then another one can be called. The list should also detail the emergency contact’s relationship to the patient.
Also included in the go-bag should be any legal documents that the person might need. Once again, these can the actual paper documents or they can be digitized documents that are loaded on a cell phone or flash drive. Some of the documents that might be included in the go bag include the following:
Health Care Proxy Form
A Health Care Proxy Form is a form that names the person designated to make health care decisions for a patient if they lack the capacity to do so on their own. This document is also referred to as a Durable Power Of Attorney For Health Care.
A Living Will
Another document that many people are familiar with is a Living Will. A Living Will are specific instructions that express the patient’s wishes as far as health care decisions are concerned. This document needs to be precise and specific and should list the treatments that the patient doesn’t want. For example, some patients have a living will that refuses life support if they become unlikely to recover from an injury or illness.
Step Two: Create A Survival First Aid Kit
The next step that a person should take is to buy a Survival First Aid Kit or make one of their own. This kit is designed with the equipment and supplies a person may need if they need to render medical care before actual medical treatment arrives. Below are some of the things that you’re going to need for a first aid survival kit.
A Good Medical Bag
The first thing a person should have is a good bag for storing all of the medical equipment they’re going to need. There are many bags designed specifically to be used for first aid kits, so you should have no problems finding one that suits your needs.
A Good Tourniquet
The one thing that’s often missing from most of the first aid kits sold directly to consumers is tourniquets. And that’ a shame because this one piece of equipment can be a lifesaver. In the event of a serious injury that causes dramatic bleeding, it can be used to pinch the artery and help the person from bleeding out. Therefore, every first aid kit should include the Best Tourniquet available.
Other Useful Medical Supplies
The first aid kit should also include a good Penlight for examining wounds in low-light conditions or taking a look at the back of the person’s throat. It should also contain the following items.
- Adhesive Bandages
- Sterile Gauze Pads
- Antibiotic Ointment
- Medical Adhesive Tape
- Disposal Medical-Grade Gloves
- A Few Surgical Masks
- An N95 Mask
- CPR Breathing Barrier
- Ibuprofen And/Or Acetaminophen
- 81 mg aspirin
- An Antihistamine
- Hydrocortisone Cream
- Quick Clot
- Super Glue (For Superficial Cuts)
- Aloe Vera
- Universal Splint
- Eye Wash
- An Eye Patch
- Hydrogen Peroxide
There are probably a few things that we’re missing, but that should be a good start for most basic survival first aid kits that you keep in your home. If you take the time to prepare a proper Go Bag and have a proper Survival First Aid Kit, then there’s no medical emergency that you won’t be ready to deal with.