Prepared for a Medical Emergency?
My neighbor friend called Thurs almost hysterical: “Please call 911 and come down. Bob (in mid 80s) has fallen.” When I hurried over, Judy was so red in the face, I was as concerned for her as for Bob. I have never seen someone so flushed. I asked her sit down and fortunately EMS arrived in minutes. Hooray for them!
While others tended to Bob, I asked another to take Judy’s b.p. because I feared a stroke or heart attack. Her b.p. was high but not alarmingly so. Next day I learned she flushes easily but I’d never seen another so startlingly red.
Judy was in such shock that she couldn’t give EMS information…his cardio’s name, which hospital, what medicine’s Bob takes. I reminded her that Bob had a pacemaker, named his cardio because he was the one I’d rec’d to them a few yrs ago and which hospital Bob had put his brother in.
The EMS team were great; it took 4 of them to lift Bob onto a guerney while a 5th one and I tried to get info from Judy.
I told her I couldn’t drive her to the hospital because I am still out of commission with my back. She was in such shock she couldn’t remember how to get to the nearby main street that would take her straight down to the hospital. I wrote directions for her, told her to take Bob’s billfold, ins info, his glasses,her billfold, a mask, her glasses and more. Was there someone she could call to drive her or follow her to the hospital? No, she could do it. She called me about 10 minutes later to say that she had gone to the wrong hospital, much farther away! I asked if she had GPS on her phone or car and she did.
Incredibly there were no broken bones but a cut on his head and his glassy stare as they carted him to ambulance made me think maybe a stroke or heart attack. A brain scan revealed a tumor on the brain which caused a seizure leading to his fall in the bathroom. Determination for surgery has not yet been made.
Living alone, I’d earlier prepared a folder “For Emergency” and have it on credenza by front door. It contains:
1. “Vial of Life” emergency info sheet (www.americanmedicalalarms.com);
2. Medical Directive Concerning Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment (includes DNR) (don’t have web site) Orders differ per state in U.S. and this lists for each.
3. List of doctors; 4. List of medications; 5. copy of insurance card and driver’s license & location of hidden house key
In sharing with another single friend later about this and how Judy was in such shock she couldn’t answer EMS questions or think about what she needed for the hospital, my friend had never considered making this emerg. info. readily available in case of emergency.
Medical emergency information may have been shared and discussed earlier on forums but witnessing first hand how neither the patient nor partner could not provide information to EMS alarmed me so I’m sharing my experience here.
It might be worth a few minutes of preparation to have this info. handy. Best to all.