5 Tips to Be Prepared for a Medical Emergency5 Tips to Be Prepared for a Medical Emergency

Unfortunately, our bodies aren’t always cooperative. It would be nice if they would wait until it conveniently fits into our schedule and we happen to be close to the hospital anyway to give us grief, but instead health problems often hit us suddenly and without warning. That’s why there’s a whole section of the hospital devoted to emergencies.

You can’t know when a medical emergency is coming, but you can take a few precautions so that you’re better prepared when they happen. These five tips can help you handle a medical emergency better when it arises and increase your chances of survival (or those of a loved one).

1. Keep a first-aid kit in your home and car.

When the worst happens, if you have useful items like bandages and painkillers on hand, you can help manage the situation in the short-term while waiting for emergency help. Make sure you have a first-aid kit in your home, in your car, and anywhere else you spend a lot of time (like an office or family member’s home). And make sure you keep it stocked. Make a note to check it every so often to see if anything needs replacing so you have what you need when an emergency hits.

2. Know where the closest hospital is.

When you need to get someone to a medical professional fast, there’s no time for reading maps or doing Google maps searches. You want to be able to get in the car and go. If you have a bad memory for directions and have a GPS, program the closest hospital in as a favorite so you have it ready to go the moment you need it.

3. Keep the Poison Control Center programmed into your phone.

If you or a loved one has a lot of prescriptions, you should constantly try to be aware of the risks of mixing them with each other and other substances. But everyone makes mistakes and when a mistake extends to which pills you take and when – it can be very dangerous.

Make sure you have the number of the Poison Control Center saved and easily accessible in case this happens: (800) 222-1222.

Don’t worry that you might be overreacting; it’s their job to be there and help talk people through the risks. It’s far better to call and hear that everything will be fine than it is to avoid calling and risk serious side effects because of it.

4. Keep a card on you with all your emergency numbers.

If something happens to you or a loved one that leaves you unable to call your emergency contacts, you want to make it’s as easy as possible for whoever ends up helping you out to do so. Keep an index card or something similar on you at all times that includes your closest family members, doctors, and anyone else you want alerted in the case of emergency.

5. Consider CPR training or a local first aid course.

 

You never know when trouble will hit and knowing basic first aid or CPR will come in handy. This is good information for everyone to have, but if you’re the caregiver of someone ill or prone to injury, it can especially come in handy. Look to see what courses are available in your area.

It’s often possible to stave off the worst risks of an emergency if you respond quickly enough and have everything you need on hand in order to do so. None of the suggestions on this list cost much and for most of them the time commitment is minimal. A few minutes spent on preparation could potentially add years to your life or that of someone you love.

Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based copywriter and lifelong student with an ongoing curiousity to learn and explore new things. She turns that interest to researching and exploring subjects helpful to seniors and their families for SeniorAdvisor.com.

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