Top 10 Tips: Visiting the Emergency Room


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emergency_leadartYou can be anywhere when a medical emergency hits. Everyone knows that they should know of their basic medical history, allergies etc. But when you have a neuromuscular disorder, it is even more important to have this information with you – and even more imperative that you also have information about your condition. Not everyone – even those in the medical profession – understand neuromuscular disorders, their idiosyncrasies and that some of the most basic life saving procedures (such as administering oxygen) can lead to worsening your condition. Here are tips to make sure your next visit to the Emergency Room goes as smoothly as possible.

Top 10 Tips: Visiting the Emergency Room

  1. Try to always have a parent, spouse, caregiver or other advocate with you. You may not always be able to get the information across with just one voice – and they might remember something important you have forgotten.
  2. Put information all in one place, like a folder. Make sure it can be found easily during an emergency. We also have a small, printable Emergency Card that can be downloaded here.
  3. Remember to speak up if you have questions, concerns, or think you need to explain something again.
  4. If the situation and time allows, remember to try and bring books, music etc. to help you pass time at the hospital. Sometimes your favourite stuffed animal or a nice pillow and blanket from home can also be nice.
  5. It’s also a good idea to keep information on a USB stick and keep that in your purse, or a pocket in jacket or mobility device in case you cannot get the hardcopy folder. We also have a small, printable Emergency Card that can be downloaded here.
  6. Make sure to have applicable contacts stored in your phone and also in your hardcopy folder and USB stick. These include your family, caregivers, close friends, and all your doctors’ numbers.
  7. Your regional Services Specialist can help you get a grasp on some of the basic things you should know in case of an emergency, and can send you hard copies of Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s publications that could be helpful – like our Respiratory Care Guide.
  8. You can speak to friends or fellow Chapter members about their experiences in the ER to get an idea of what might happen and what you may need to know.
  9. Do research or talk to your doctor about information that you can use when visiting the ER. For example, some form of muscular dystrophy need special attention when it comes to surgery and anesthetics.  
  10. Get a MedicAlert bracelet or necklace and keep your information in their database up to date.

For more information, read the full article from the Muscular Dystrophy Association here.

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