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1) Prepare an Emergency Room Kit
Upon arrival at the ER, hospital personnel will ask about insurance coverage, medications and medical history. Create an emergency room kit that you or your loved one can easily grab on the way to the hospital and that includes the following:
Also help your loved one create an “in case of emergency” card to keep in a wallet or purse. For details on what should be included, click here.
2) Add ICE Contacts to Your Loved One’s Cell Phone
Emergency physicians now recommend that people add “in case of emergency” (or ICE) entries to their cell phone address books. That way, if a patient arrives in the ER unable to answer questions, hospital staff can easily identify that person’s emergency contacts. Add at least two emergency contacts — for instance, type ICE1-wife and ICE2-daughter.
3) Find the Fastest Route to the Hospital
Determine the fastest route to the nearest hospital, and keep directions with your loved one’s emergency room kit. There are times when it makes more sense to call an ambulance than to drive yourself. The American College of Emergency Physicians Foundation recommends calling an ambulance:
If your loved one lives in a rural area that’s not covered by the 911 system, keep the telephone number for the local emergency medical service by the phone.
4) Know When to Go to the ER
If your loved one experiences any of these classic warning signs, he shouldn’t delay in seeking medical care:
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