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I don’t know about you, but in an emergency, my brain doesn’t work very well. My one and only time to have ever gone to the emergency room for myself was several years back. It was before I met my husband, so I was home alone, it was about midnight, and after several asthma attacks, each getting progressively worse, I finally decided that if I didn’t do something soon, I could be in a very dangerous situation. And so I threw on some sweat pants and drove myself to North Hills Hospital’s ER.

Looking back, I should never have driven myself, but again, my brain doesn’t work very well in an emergency.

Now, typically when I go to the doctor, I am prepared. I bring all of my medications (when you have asthma, there’s a lot) in a ziplock bag so that if the doctor throws me a curveball by asking me specifics about my meds, I’m ready.

But when you drive yourself to the ER in the middle of the night, there’s no time to run around grabbing medications. Or anything else for that matter. You’re lucky if you remember your shoes.

Which is why it’s a good idea to keep an updated medication log for each person in your family. Keep it in a handy place so that if you’re in a jam, you’ve got everything you need to take with you.

And if you’re like me, you’re more motivated to keep up with it if it looks pretty.

(Click here to download)

And so here is my gift to you – a handy medication log that you can use for each member of your family. You’d better believe that my husband and I will have this all filled out, ready to go for the next emergency.

Only this time, he’ll be the one driving me.

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Bethe Wright is the Director of Marketing and Public Relations at North Hills Hospital. She has a husband, a dog, and a little yellow inhaler.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, someone dies of a stroke every 4 minutes. Many factors involved with stroke cannot be controlled. But there are steps you can take to prevent stroke risks and increase survival chances in the event of a stroke. Arm yourself with knowledge to be more prepared if you or a loved one suffers from a stroke.

Prevent Stroke Before it Happens
Take control of your health to help lower your stroke risk. You should manage your existing health conditions with your health provider's help. Keep track of your cholesterol and blood pressure, and manage diabetes if you have it. Keep your medications up to date and take them as directed. In addition to being active and watching your weight, you should quit smoking immediately and avoid excessive alcohol use.

Be Familiar with the Signs of Stroke
Because stroke survival and recovery depend on quick action, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms. Common symptoms come on suddenly and may include numbness or weakness of the face or limbs, trouble with vision or speaking, loss of coordination and severe headache. If any of these symptoms come on and then go away with no other effects, you should still talk to your doctor immediately, as they could be signs of a stroke in the future.

Act Fast
Stroke can be treated, but it’s important to treat immediately. Always begin by calling 9-1-1. Stroke first aid must be administered by emergency medical professionals. A delay in treatment can lead to death or far more significant impairments after stroke. Be aware of hospitals and emergency care centers in your area, and educate those around you to make them aware of symptoms and signs of stroke. Make sure that your loved ones know to call for emergency help right away. Assess your own stroke risk and the risk of those close to you. If you’re aware of a higher risk of stroke, have an action plan in place in case of sudden stroke symptoms.

Stroke Center
North Hills Hospital has been named a certified Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission. Our hospital, in partnership with the Texas Stroke Institute, shares the vision of commitment to providing high quality primary and comprehensive stroke center.

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It has happened. Your loved one needs to be taken to an E.R. immediately. You need to leave right away, but you just aren’t sure what to bring. Since emotions are at the surface, sometimes it is difficult to keep a clear mind and think carefully about the exact information emergency personnel will need for treatment. We suggest that you print this list out and keep it nearby. We want to help give you peace of mind so that you are prepared before you make the next dash to the E.R.

Insurance Information. Find all necessary health insurance information available for your loved one. If he has a separate prescription card, be sure to bring that too.

Identification. Take any official form of photo I.D. that you can find for your loved one. It should include his place of residence also.

Social Security Number. Some insurance documents do require the patient’s Social Security number, so be sure to bring this information along.

Medication. Take any prescribed medications with you, or bring a comprehensive list of medication, including prescribed types, exact dosages and the contact information for the pharmacist.

Medical History. Be sure you know your loved one’s medical history. Has he had surgery? Has he been hospitalized? Does he have any current medical conditions?

Side Effects and Allergy Information. Does your loved one have any known side effects to medication? Does he experience an allergic reaction to any medications? Does he have any allergies?

Contact Information. Bring along a contact sheet listing your loved one’s primary care physician, pharmacist, and any specialists that he may be seeing. Also, be sure to have contact information for his next of kin and others who might need to be made aware in case he is hospitalized.

A Pen and Paper. You may be overwhelmed with a lot of information at once. Keep a pen and paper handy and write down any information you receive. Since being at the E.R. can be emotional at times, it is easy to forget even the basic details. If you aren’t sure about what is happening, ask someone immediately. Emergency professionals are there to help you manage your loved one care, and they want you as informed as possible.

Children’s Comfort Items. If you are bringing a child to the E.R., be sure to bring along any special comfort items. That might be a favorite blanket, animal, or special book. Children can be scared in new situations, and bringing a bit of “home” with you can do a lot to comfort your child.

Are you wondering how you will remember all of this? Print out this useful E.R. Survival Kit, fill one out for each family member, and keep them someplace safe. If and when you need to go to the E.R. suddenly, this information will be right at your fingertips.

North Hills Hospital will welcome you and your loved one in case of an emergency. To find out the E.R. wait times at North Hills or any HCA North Texas Hospital, you can download a free iPhone app or visit our website. For a physician referral, please call (817) 255-1000 or visit our website here.

Sources:
What to Bring to a Hospital, Emergency Room, or Crisis Program
Going to the Emergency Room

Related Post:
Fast ER: Why Wait?