to The last thing on your mind when heading to the ER is what to pack, yet it is vitally important and makes a stressful time a little less so. Being well-prepared if mom, dad, child, or significant other has an emergency is not only a comfort, it’s a necessity.
Information improves care, so come to the ER as prepared as possible by having these items pre-packed for your ER trip:
1. List of Current Medications - include dosages and times taken. If your pharmacy and medical provider’s office are closed, we do not have access to this information! Please keep this list with you at all times in your purse, wallet, or saved in your cell phone.
However, if you find yourself going to the ER and do NOT have a list, please bring all medications in a bag including any over the counter and herbal meds. It is in the best interest of the patient for the ER provider to have access to the medication list, or meds, to provide the best care possible for you!
2. List of Allergies – include all medications, food, and latex allergies with type of reaction to all.
3. Description of Medical History – keep a document of all medical conditions. Do you have hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, etc.? This list can assist the staff in determining how to treat you best. Remember, you may be too critical, or even unconscious, when you arrive at the Emergency Department and unable to provide this information.
4. List of Previous Surgeries
5. Name of Primary Care Physician and/or Specialists – include phone numbers
6. Insurance Cards and Co-Pay
7. Photo Identification
8. Legal Documents – despite the provider’s primary focus being on saving your life, they also have to know to what extent you want to receive medical treatment. If you have a Durable Power of Attorney, Advance Directive, Consent to Treat Minors, or Do Not Resuscitate Order, you must take these forms with you to the Emergency Department.
9. Emergency Contact Information – you should have someone listed who will always act upon your best interests.
10. Leave patient valuables at home.
11. Bring a sweater or jacket. ERs are kept very cool!
Additional tips to help in providing the best care in the ER:
1. Ingested Poison, Spiders, Toxins and Medications – you should make every attempt to bring to the ER the very thing that has put your life at risk. If you can’t, then tell where it can be found in your house or place of work, or where the spider or animal that bit you came from in your surroundings. This information can help save your life and allow the medical staff to give you the appropriate treatment. If it’s an overdose, bring the bottle where the pills were taken.
2. Severed Body Parts – place the severed part in a plastic bag and seal it. Then put the sealed bag in cold water and ice and keep it with the owner!
An ER visit is something we rarely anticipate or prepare for days or weeks in advance. Taking the time to prepare ahead of time can make it a little easier on everyone, and help ensure the process runs smoothly.
Our staff at Magee General Hospital Emergency Department looks forward to assisting you and your family with your healthcare needs.