Disaster planning – for earthquakes, fires and floods – is important, but planning for your medical emergencies should be at the top of your list! While today everything might be okay, what happens if you get in an accident, have a medical emergency or become incapacitated? In addition to EVERYONE over 18 having an Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD), we should all get our medications and medical history in order too!
Imagine this scenario: 911 is called and the paramedics show up to help you. Your current medications, allergies and medical history could be of paramount importance in saving your life. Isn’t it worth spending an hour or so to write certain things down?
In 2012, Goldfarb & Luu created a comprehensive system to help our clients organize this information and have it accessible when it is needed most. Here are some basic tips to get you started. For more information, contact us.
#1 – Organize all medications. Make sure they are clearly labeled, up-to-date, and in their correct bottles in an easily accessible location (medicine cabinet, drawer, labeled container). Be sure you have enough in case of one of the natural disasters listed above.
#2 – Create an easy-to-read list. Be sure to include the name and dosage of each medication (their location), allergies, a simple timeline of major surgeries and/or health issues, and contact information for your physicians and emergency contacts. Even if you do not take prescription medications, you should have a copy of your health history.
#3 – Put the list in high-visibility locations. First responders in an emergency will usually look on the fridge when someone is unresponsive, but it is a good idea to have it in a few more places. You should also put a copy with your medications and give copies to family/neighbors/friends. We have a system for our clients to be able to keep a copy with them at all times!
And don’t forget, as with all important documents, make sure to update the information regularly!