For years I have prepared a binder for my clients that sits by their front door with critical information in case they get taken to the hospital in an emergency. Now, in this time of COVID-19, every single one of us needs to have an abbreviated version of this REGARDLESS OF YOUR AGE OR HEALTH STATUS. I hope this doesn't happen, but if you, your child, your sister, your parent has to go to the hospital (or to any healthcare provider), it is most likely that the patient will be alone. Especially in an emergency, it is vital that the EMTs or paramedics know as much about the patient as possible and can share that with the ER ASAP. At that moment in time, the patient may not be able to provide that information.
There are a couple of tools you should have at home to help assess how sick someone with COVID-19 may be. Make sure you have a good thermometer and pulse oximeter at home. Pulse oximeters measure the level of oxygen in your blood. Both are important tools to evaluate how sick you are with COVID-19 and whether an ambulance needs to be called. If someone is struggling to breathe, lips are turning blue, or their oxygenation levels have dropped too low make sure that 911 knows that you have someone who can't breathe. They may send a different type of emergency responder. COVID-19 strikes at oxygenation in very insidious ways and people often don't realize how low their levels have fallen. See this article for more information on pulse oximeters, "What is a Pulse Oximeter?". They have apparently become hard to find and expensive recently. One of my health advocate colleagues found this resource to be helpful, Zacurate.
Hopefully you will never need any of the above!
Take care.. sending you calm and healthy wishes.
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