Medical conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy or allergic reactions can result in the sufferer becoming unconscious or unable to communicate their condition to passers-by or medical professionals. This can result in a delay in receiving potentially lifesaving treatment. It is therefore essential that you and your family are prepared and have a plan in place should an incident occur.
Make Sure You and Your Condition Can Be Easily Identified
Firstly, always make sure you carry identification with you at all times, and that this is kept in an obvious and easy to reach place. If you are out on your own when an emergency strikes, anyone who finds you and medical professionals will then be able to identify who you are.
If your condition is serious and requires treatment immediately or if you are taking medication, such as an anticoagulant it is advised that you carry a medical alert card, which can be carried in a purse or wallet, or wear medical ID jewellery; such as a bracelet or necklace. These communicate information about your condition, medication you take, your identity and details of your next of kin. They ensure that medical professionals are quickly aware of your condition and can begin treatment straight away. Carrying medical ID can literally mean the difference between life and death.
Ensure You Always Carry Medication
If your condition requires you to take medication, for example if you have an allergy which can cause you to have an anaphylactic shock and requires the immediate administration of adrenaline, always ensure you have it with you at all times. If your medication needs to be taken at set times throughout the day it can be a good idea to set an alarm on your mobile phone as a reminder.
Store medicine and first aid equipment in one, clearly marked place in your home where it can easily be collected in the event of an emergency; such as a labelled cupboard in the kitchen or bathroom. When out and about always make sure you have your medication with you before leaving the house and carry it in an easily accessible place, such as a handbag. Inform all your friends and family members where your medication is kept at home and while you are out of the house.
Talk About Your Condition
It is important that you talk to everyone in your family and close friends about your condition and make sure they are prepared and know what to do in the event of an emergency. It can be very beneficial to call a family meeting and discuss with everyone, including children, your condition, signs they need to watch for and what treatment needs to be given.
This discussion should be kept very calm and reassuring and not raise any fears, although it is important that children know it is alright for them to be afraid and that they can talk about any fears they have. Make sure you continuously talk about your condition and treatment after the discussion, as the more you talk about it the more it will be
remembered. Everyone should know how to call the emergency services and what information needs to be conveyed to them when calling.
Have Childcare Available
If you have young children, ensure you have someone available to take care of them in the event you need to be taken to hospital. Make sure your children know who this person is and write down their contact details and place them in a visible place. Have a box or jar that always has some money in for food and supplies. This will give you peace of mind and everyone will know what to do in the event of an emergency.