Preparing for Medical Emergencies during Covid-19

Preparing for Medical Emergencies during Covid-19

Regular medical needs haven’t stopped just because Covid-19 has taken the front seat in the news. Whether your medical emergency arises from coronavirus or any other illness or accident, being prepared will help you get the best possible medical care.

If you are sick, no matter how minor or major, your medical provider is in the best position to give you advice and guidance. Especially during this time of uncertainty, contacting your medical professional promptly is the best option for all situations. Something that is minor right now could become a major problem if left untreated. Don’t delay.

There are a few things you can have ready now in case you need them for an emergency:

  • Start by making a list of medications you take and the prescribing doctor’s name. In the event of an emergency, the paramedics or emergency room staff will quickly know if you have underlying conditions or take medications that increase some risks like blood thinners. If there is more than one person living in the household, each person should have his or her own separate list.

  • It is helpful for hospital staff if you have a list of family members to contact on your behalf and their phone numbers and relationship to you. If one of the family members is your medical decision-maker, indicate that on your list. In the event, you are not able to communicate the hospital staff can try to contact the family for you.

  • If you would like to formally document your advance care medical plan, you can do so by filling out a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare and Living Will. These documents should be shared with your healthcare decision-maker and your physician. They can also be added to your medical record. To learn more about these important documents see (link to LifeNotes)

  • In an emergency, bring these items to the hospital with you:
    1. Medicare card

    2. Medication list

    3. Emergency contact list with phone number

    4. Copy of your Power of Attorney for Healthcare

    5. Hearing aids

    6. Glasses

    7. Cell phone

    8. Cell phone charger

Do not assume a family member will be permitted to stay in the emergency room with you or visit you if you are admitted.

Keeping in touch with your medical provider is always a good idea. Don’t hesitate to contact them. If you need help making a plan, CJE care managers are available to help.

Our CJE SeniorLine is available Monday through Friday, 773-508-1000.

Written by Tamara Kushnir Groman, JD. For more information contact tamara.kushnirgroman@cje.net