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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Do you need an ambulance?

One of the worst feelings to have is the feeling of helplessness when a loved one is hurt. Unfortunately, I have seen this over and over again. As many of you know, I'm an EMT on our local volunteer ambulance service. When we respond to a call, there is certain information we try to obtain either from the patient or the family. When the patient is unable to respond, and the family has no clue, that helpless feeling is written on their face.

Sit down with your loved ones and discuss some of the following. It's also an excellent idea to have it all written or typed on a paper that is handy in an emergency. Some people carry it in their wallet, put it on the fridge door or in the medicine cabinet. Gosh, you could even have a copy of your spouses sheet with your own in your wallet.

Family doctor
Medication and dosage
Medical history: diabetes, heart, COPD, surgeries...
DNR: Copy MUST be shown to EMT's

This information is important in the care of patients. Make sure medication list is kept current. If not 100% sure it is, grab a bag to put the medications in to be taken to the hospital with the patient.

Also, when following the ambulance to the hospital, keep in mind you still must follow rules of the road! The ambulance has lights and sirens...we are both seen and heard. The car following behind us with a worried driver at the wheel is nothing more than just another car on the road. No special privileges apply to you. If you follow an ambulance through an intersection, there's a good chance you could be in an accident.

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