Receiving a phone call from a hospital telling you to get there quick to be with a loved one can send you into shock. If you have to travel, then the already dreadful scenes that have just popped into your mind leave you with an empty feeling in the bottom of your stomach. This pit gets deeper with every minute as you rush to be at the side of your loved one. When you arrive amidst all of the confusion you are usually asked to help provide some background information. Already in shock and worried, you will have to do you best to remember the conversations that you have had with your loved one when they mentioned the various tests they have underwent. Of course, you will only know this information if they have chosen to share the information with you.
Create yourself an “ICE Pack”, in case of emergency, to provide your loved ones with as much information as you can that can prepare them for what they may have to face in the event of an illness, disability or death. Your “ICE Pack” should contain:
- Medical Directives – these legal documents are your way of telling your family and your physicians how you would like your medical care to be handled. In a nutshell, these documents let you speak for yourself even when you can not speak. If you create these documents today, they can later be updated if your views or wishes change.
- List of Physicians and Specialists – In case of an emergency, the doctors and nurses who are trying to save your life will want to know as much about you as possible. If they can get your doctors involved it would save a lot of time and hopefully make it easier for them to create a plan of action. Having to wait for your records or having to start over from scratch could mean the difference between life and death.
- Medical History including allergies – No one knows what’s going on with your body better than you do. Unfortunately in an emergency, you may not be able to communicate well enough to articulate all of the issues that you have been having. If you take the time to create a catalog of what medical issues you are having, treatment plans and recent appointments and tests, you can give both your family and the physicians a better understanding of what steps to take to help you.
- Medications including condition, dosing and when you first starting taking the medication – Having the information listed previously paint a good picture but still leave some important gaps uncovered. It would be great to know what medication you have been taking, what dosages, and how frequently you must take the medication. The combination of medications can help the specialist further understand conditions you may have as well as the reason why your physicians chose a specific course of action.
Your insurance carriers have access to some of the information in your MIB report(medical information bureau) if they were responsible for paying for the items but just like your credit report or your rental history report does not paint a complete picture, your MIB report isn’t reliable enough to tell medical professionals what’s going with you right now.
In Part 2 of the series we will continue the discussion on the topic of being prepared for an emergency. Be sure to click Subscribe above to receive updates as soon as they post. You can email Osiola at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter.