Emergency Information Kit

May 19, 2020

Emergency Information Kit Click HERE

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.

  • An Emergency Information Kit for each member of the family: For this reason, I have created a template for a Patient Emergency Information Kit which is attached to this email. It is very similar to the "Grab & Go" kit you may have seen me mention in a recent blog that a colleague of mine presented during a webinar on which we were both panelists. Please complete this for each member of your family. Put each individual's information in a separate clear plastic sleeve or well-labeled envelope by the front door so the paramedics can see it and grab it quickly. Make sure that the people listed as "Emergency contacts" and those who are health care powers of attorney or have HIPAA releases have copies and know their roles. Some of the legal forms I refer to are described in a blog I wrote here or you may have your own versions already. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me. This is really important NO MATTER HOW HEALTHY YOU ARE! Unfortunately, COVID-19 can make even seemly healthy people, very sick, very suddenly.

  • What you need for COVID-19 assessment: These two articles describe the wide range of symptoms you may experience, The Range of Symptoms of COVID-19. and what you may experience as the disease progresses, Coronavirus: Days 5-10. Please note that they may be different for older adults AND that these are being updated pretty frequently as we learn more about the virus.

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.

Emergency Information Kit Click HERE

*If you are having trouble accessing the Emergency Information Kit please email, info@healthacr.com*

Hopefully you will never need any of the above!

Take care.. sending you calm and healthy wishes.

- Lee

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