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When health emergencies strike people are caught up in the pain and confusion of the moment. Medical personnel need precise, up-to-date information on your health condition. In many cases, stress can keep you from remembering vital information which can delay or even jeopardize proper medical treatment.
The best way to ensure you receive the best possible health care is by being prepared. Take time now to review your medical history and current health status.
On an index card begin by listing any chronic health problems you may have such as diabetes, high bood pressure or heart disease. List all medications you are currently taking along with their dosages. Don't forget to include any over-the-counter remedies as well as vitamins and herbal supplements as these can interact with many medications. In large red letters list any medication or food allergies and their result such as hives, nausea, etc. If you have a pacemaker or other internal device be sure to list it as well as carry the manufacturer's card with you. Include your immunization updates. Be sure to list recent health emergencies such as heart attack or stroke as well as surgeries and their dates. This can save valuable time in your diagnosis.
Personal information is also vital in an emergency. List several people to notify and how to get hold of them at various times of the day. Don't forget your doctor's name and number.
Periodically check your card and update any information, especially medications as they often change.
If you have a living will or are an organ donor be sure to carry that information with you as well.
If you suffer from a chronic condition or have a severe allergy, consider one of the many medical identification bracelets on the market. These can be life-saving sources of information in an emergency.
Keep the card in your wallet with your driver's license and health insurance card. Make sure your spouse carries one for himself and it's a good idea to carry one for each other as well as for any children you have. The atmosphere of the emergency room can rattle the calmest person so having this information at hand will help you quickly aid those treating you or your loved ones.