Sunday, January 14, 2018

Handling a Sudden Medical Emergency at Home

When bad time strikes, you or someone in you family may face a sudden medical emergency.

A few minutes before the emergency all would seem to be going very well.

And then suddenly!

Getting panicky is very natural and perhaps the first reaction one would normally have.

Unless you are a trained doctor or medical expert, there is not much that you can do that in such a situation.

Here are some thoughts on what one could do to handle a sudden medical emergency at home:
  • Quickly assess the extent of impact or damage, if that is possible. This may be possible in case of external injuries only.
  • See whether the family member can be taken to a hospital immediately. If not, call for the ambulance immediately.
  • Take the patient to the nearest hospital. Any reasonably equipped hospital in your vicinity would be fine so that first-aid or emergency treatment can be given without loosing precious time.
  • In case of any case history to the medical emergency the hospital you generally go should be contacted and informed and you should do whatever advised.
  • Have at least 3 people, if possible accompany you. One should stay alongside the patient, the second one should stay along with the doctors and the nursing staff. The third one should do the errands like arranging for money, getting things from outside if not available at the hospital, etc.
  • Always remember, for you the emergency may be a first-time or a rare situation that you may not have ever faced but for the medical staff it is just routine.
  • Based on the immediate above point, let the medical staff take the decisions based on their professional judgment. You should certainly expect them to brief you as appropriate and at the appropriate times.
  • Certain necessary paperwork may also be required to be completed as the treatment begins. That is another reason having 3 people helps. The third person can easily take care of such administrative tasks.
Some other miscellaneous thoughts to take care of some other things that though not directly related to the medical requirements are important for you to manage:
  • Maintain a positive and encouraging attitude as you interact with your family member who is going through the physical pain and discomfort. He or she would need both physical and mental support to handle the tough time with higher level of fortitude.
  • As soon soon as you get time, but surely at the earliest, you should inform the relevant people at workplace about the fact that you may not be available for certain days. Do mention medical emergency so that they are more considerate to your needs in such a tough time in your personal life.
  • Ensure you brief the people so that critical tasks at your workplace don't get missed in your absence.
  • Make sure you have medical insurance policy to take care of such situations. Inform the insurance provider at the earliest possible.
  • Keep an emergency fund equal to 2 times of the medical insurance amount. This would help in case the hospital you go to is not a network hospital. Also it gives you a nice cushion which is 3 times the medical insurance amount and that should normally be sufficient in most cases.
  • Make sure some of your investments are liquid so that in case you run out of the emergency fund, you should be able to access some more funds by quickly liquidating your investments so as to generate the required funds.
  • In case even the above also fails to provide you the needed funds, you may have to explore taking personal loans to take care of medical expenses. This should hopefully be a "God forbid" scenario!
Always carry the feeling of gratitude that the whole thing could have been even worse that what it is.

Never carry the grudge "why me"?

Be positive and cheerful. Generate inner mental strength to take care of whatever situation is there before you since that is your reality at this point of time.

Do whatever you can do to the best of your availability. Leave the rest to the medical experts.

And finally, and most importantly, pray and thank God. He wanted you to go through such an experience in life. It is simply destiny at play.

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