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22 Tips to Help You Prepare for a Medical Emergency

Be ready for a crisis at home, at work or on vacation

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At Work

For some, the workplace may be a home away from home. Just as you want to short-circuit medical emergencies at home and when you travel, here are some suggestions for avoiding them at work.

  • Prepare a list of emergency contacts for colleagues in your department or section. Include names, addresses, email addresses, cellphone numbers and day and evening phone numbers.

  • If you have a chronic medical condition such as heart disease or
    diabetes, consider telling a trusted colleague and providing
    instructions about what to do in an emergency.
  • Encourage your employer to provide a first aid course and CPR training for all employees.
  • Be sure the office has a readily available AED (automated external defibrillator) to use in the event of sudden cardiac arrest, a condition where the heart abruptly stops beating. AEDs send an electric shock to the heart to restore normal rhythm and greatly increase chances of survival.
  • Keep a fully stocked first aid kit where you can get to it easily. Replace supplies as they're used.
  • Know the location of fire extinguishers and learn how to use them.

Sources: American College of Emergency Physicians, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Heart Association, Poison

Nissa Simon is a freelance writer who lives in New Haven, Conn.

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How to perform "hands-only" CPR on adults who appear to have stopped breathing.

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