Tips for packing an Emergency “Go Bag”

If a family member is sick at home, they might be at risk of being hospitalized. Please have an emergency “go bag” ready for the hospital. Remember, visitors are not being allowed in the hospital, so it’s best to have it all at the ready.

These tips are worthwhile for all kinds of emergencies, so spending a few minutes now can help you for a long time to come!

Items for your “go bag”:

• Written, UPDATED and accurate list of medications: Name, Dose, Frequency, *Initials after the name of medication are important too, such as: XL, XR, LA, IR, ER, SR.
• Cell phone charger!  Patients always have low cell phone batteries!  You can be in the E/R from 6 hours to 48 hours!
• List of emergency contacts and phone numbers on paper!  If the patient is unconscious and the phone is locked or the battery is dead, hospital staff will need this.
• Primary Care Doctor contact info: Full name, phone number and office address.
• A book (or magazine, downloaded audible book, etc.) to read.  I have yet to find a hospital with decent wi-fi.
• If the patient has a pacemaker or defibrillator: a copy of the pocket information card that states the brand, model number and MRI compatibility.
• If the patient has asthma or COPD, bring the inhalers!  Hospitals are running out.

• Extra batteries for hearing aid or other medical devices.
• Leave copies of important papers on the side of your fridge, with a magnet. EMTs are trained to look there for emergency information in the event you contact 911 but you can’t speak when they arrive.
• A copy of Health Care Proxy; HIPAA; Advance Medical Directive; Power of Attorney, Emergency contact info, Health Insurance info.

I thought this was some pretty useful information – things I know I wouldn’t have thought of.     While I sincerely hope none of you need it, I know I plan on preparing a go bag at home.   Better to be prepared.

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