Posted in Travel

Medical Emergencies while Traveling

Yes, I know that we can be over prepared for many things because of our fears of being unprepared. Here is one area for which you cannot be over prepared.

Carry a list of our medications (both prescription and over-the-counter kind). 

Last year while in Mexico a friend fainted and lost consciousness for a moment. The Emergency Medical Service was called. When they arrived, they needed to know what medications she was taking. Her partner ran to get the ziplock bag of her meds, as she laid on the concrete floor coming around. The EMS workers then tried with the help of two tourists, who were nurses to determine what each pill was named and what it treated.

A list of meds would have been an easy solution to the problem.

I carry a list of my medications, vitamins and minerals,and over-the-counter meds. Next to each I indicate how often I take them on a regular basis and which ones I take PRN which means “taken as needed” by the medical profession.

I also state my blood type, allergies, and my medical insurance account number and how to reach them. In addition to these things, I offer a listing of the people who should be notified in case of an emergency with phone numbers.

I label it ICE (in case of emergency) and craft it so it is small enough to fit in my billfold. It takes up a half-page, folded in thirds, and stores in a small jewelry-sized ziplock bag. I have it with me at all times.

I use this when I go to a doctor’s office at home and the office asks for my medications. They copy it and place it in my file. I update it when it changes in any way, then record the date of the most recent changes.

Be prepared with a list of your medications before leaving on your next trip.

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Have you had an emergency and learned what you needed that you did not have? Share your own experiences with me and other readers.

 

Author:

Fiction and nonfiction writer, traveler, blogger, workshop facilitator. Author of coming-of-age travel memoir, At Home in the World: Travel Stories of Growing Up and Growing Away.