Are You Prepared for Medical Emergencies?

Are You Prepared for Medical Emergencies?
Are You Prepared for Medical Emergencies?

Medical emergencies are usually traumatic and stressful both financially and emotionally. Being prepared for any emergency situation is ideal to lessen the negative impact that they can impose on your financial wellbeing, home, and work. Below are several tips on how to minimize the threat of disaster ahead of time.


Have first-aid kits at in your car and at home

Owning a well-stocked first-aid kit aids in ensuring an effective and timely response to sudden injuries and illnesses. Be sure that there is always one in your car, in your home, and with you wherever you go. You can purchase pre-assembled kits from drug stores or you can create them on your own. Aside from staples such as adhesives, bandages, a flashlight with batteries, and scissors, your kit should contain any personal medications including anti-hypertensives, anti-allergies, and others. The American Red Cross has a complete list of first aid essentials for your kit.

Learn CPR

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR is a basic skill that everyone should and can learn, due to the fact that nearly 70 percent of heart attacks occur at home. Unfortunately, over 50 percent of Americans are unaware of CPR basics and feel helpless during such emergencies. This can change. Organizations like American Red Cross and the American Heart Association offer CPR classes regularly, and registration only requires one phone call.

Keep all numbers to emergency room facilities and hospitals nearby

Even with CPR knowledge, certain cases demand the expertise of medics and board-certified emergency physicians. Situations like stroke, diabetic emergencies, and bone fractures require specialized care that only emergency clinic personnel can provide.

Be sure to have the phone numbers of each of these facilities handy via a list of “emergency services near me”. Ask about services in each hospital around you. Find out if they are full-service with emergency services and specialized treatments, if they have nurses, physicians, and specialists ready, as well as whether or not all triage and laboratory services operate on holidays. For residents of Slidell, Louisiana, Slidell Memorial Hospital covers all of these services 24/7. The hospital has its own centers dedicated to oncology, birthing, heart, SMH imaging, and sleep disorders. Rehabilitation and outpatient services are also an option.

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Know the warning signs of medical emergencies

Aside from CPR, it is also beneficial to learn about some of the most basic indicators of a medical emergency. The American College of Emergency Physicians states some warning sights including sudden vision changes, confusion, difficulty breathing, uncontrolled bleeding, confusion, sudden dizziness, an alteration in behavior or mental status, abdominal or chest pain or pressure lasting over two minutes, severe vomiting or diarrhea, slurred speech, suicidal thoughts, and vomiting or coughing up blood.

Note, however, that not each item on this list comprises a medical emergency as is, and for this reason it is always best to find professional help.

Make a complete list of your family’s consent forms and medical information

A complete list of each family member’s medical history comprised of medications, illnesses, surgeries, hospitalization history, and physicians sought may help physicians arrive at appropriate interventions quicker when such emergencies arise. Bring this list with you to the ER.

It is also wise to have the family’s consent forms ready along with medical history, just in case authorization is needed for treatment or a procedure, and the family member involved is not able to give consent.

There is no need for medical emergencies to be more stressful than they already are. With the proper planning, you can help reduce the devastating effect of emergencies and save lives.

Should people with multiple sclerosis be allowed to donate blood? Please have your say!

National Blood Donor Month
National Blood Donor Month

Should people with multiple sclerosis be allowed to donate blood?

A couple of days ago I blogged about National Blood Donor Month.

It invites people to become blood donors and at the same time raise awareness of the need for blood donors. All pretty straightforward you might think.

Well not quite. On one multiple sclerosis Twitter feed started a very interesting discussion which I would be valuable to share with the multiple sclerosis community.

To which the response was

@srzjwalters @MS_getinformed @RedCrossAU It’s a precautionary measure – cause of MS is unknown. I think it’s wise.

— Nicky Alsemgeest (@nickya73) January 1, 2016

The view taken by the Australian Red Cross seems to be

Okay so what are your views on the subject? Should people with multiple sclerosis be allowed to donate blood?

Please do take part in our poll below. It would be great if you could give more details (or tell us about the situation in your country) using the comments box below.

Thanks very much in advance!

Celebrate National Blood Donor Month January 2016 – why not become a donor?

Why not make donating blood one of your New Year’s resolutions?

National Blood Donor Month
National Blood Donor Month

January is, as you may know, National Blood Donor Month. So we thought we would kick start 2016 but asking our readers to start giving blood if they do not already do so.

If you are based in the USA check out the Red Cross site here to book an appointment!

In the UK please go to the NHS Blood Donor site which you can find located here.

If you live in Canada please go here for more information. And in India this is a useful resource.

Those you you who live in Australia please see this site. Which is also run by the Red Cross.

For New Zealanders this site is a good port of call for blood donations.

I’ve only covered a few of the major English speaking sites here. If you would like to suggest others that would be brilliant. Please use the comments section below to add any links.

Many thanks in advance and can we wish you a happy and healthy 2016.

British Red Cross launch Ebola Outbreak Appeal

We would like to share this recent news from the Red Cross website and hope you will share with your family and friends.

Due to constraints of time we are quoting directly from the Red Cross site:

Red Cross Ebola Appeal
Red Cross Ebola Appeal

Red Cross workers are “stretched to the limit” as the Ebola outbreak gets worse.

More than 1,900 people have now died from the virulent disease, according to the World Health Organisation.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), which is working across West Africa, is increasing its relief effort, but it has only 62 per cent of the funds needed to fight the epidemic.

The British Red Cross has launched an emergency Ebola Outbreak Appeal.

Together with the IFRC, we are completing construction of an isolation facility in Kenema, Sierra Leone. The new facility will ease overcrowding in other health facilities and help save lives.

Funding shortfall

The outbreak, which is the worst in history, has hit five countries in West Africa: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal.

Ben Webster, British Red Cross disaster response manager, said: “It is not an overstatement to say that this outbreak is stretching our capacity in terms of funding and personnel.

“We are seeking as much support as possible from the international community, the corporate world and the public.”

National Red Cross Societies in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have trained 1,800 volunteers to help fight the Ebola outbreak.

Urgent action

Elhadj As Sy, the new secretary general of the IFRC, recently visited Sierra Leone and Guinea.

“In recent months, Red Cross volunteers have been working hard, assisting with dead body management, tracing those who had been in contact with patients, providing psychological support and conducting preventive education at community level.

“Their capacity is stretched to the limit, and they are literally exhausted.

“Fear, misconceptions and stigmatization fuel a vicious cycle that hampers an effective response at community level. This cycle can only be broken with a sustained mobilization from us all, in close collaboration with affected communities.”

Mr Sy also supported calls for greater intervention from the international community.

“The IFRC fully supports – and echoes – the call from Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) for the international community to urgently deploy bio-disaster facilities to the region to respond effectively to the epidemic,” he said.

The Ebola outbreak began in Guinea in March. It has a fatality rate of about 50 per cent.

Please donate if you can to this important cause!