How to prepare for a medical emergency

I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis fifteen years ago, and I have had several flare-ups flanked by periods of remission during that time. I'm pleased to say a number of new drug treatments have become available since I was diagnosed, but I've always been keen to explore alternative treatments, such as hydrotherapy, acupuncture, homeopathy and massage, as a way of complementing my medical treatment. I started this blog to document the alternative treatments I've tried and share information about current research into drug-free treatments for managing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. If you've tried an alternative treatment that's eased your symptoms, I'd love to share your experiences on the blog.

How to prepare for a medical emergency

5 April 2017
 Categories: , Blog

Medical emergencies can occur at any time. If someone in your household has a health condition which puts them at risk of having a medical emergency (for instance, if they have a serious heart condition which increases their chances of having a heart attack), or if you are simply concerned about your inability to handle this type of situation, read on to learn about the steps you can take to prepare yourself for emergencies of this kind.

Take a first aid course

One of the most effective ways to ensure that you can cope with a medical emergency is by taking a course which will teach you how to administer first aid. This will ensure that, if someone around you experiences a medical emergency (for example, if they suffer a severe allergic reaction, ingest a toxic substance or sustain a serious injury), you won't be forced to stand by helplessly whilst you wait for an ambulance to arrive. Instead, you'll be able to provide appropriate medical assistance which could alleviate their symptoms and even potentially save their life.

Courses of this kind will give you the information you need to safely assist people suffering from a wide range of medical issues. According to the Red Cross website, the Hltaid003 Provide First Aid course, for example, covers everything from treating burns, scalds and bleeding wounds, to handling bites and stings and performing CPR. Such skills could prove invaluable during a medical emergency.

Keep a well-stocked first aid kit in your home

When a medical emergency occurs, time is of the essence. Your ability to treat the problem quickly could, quite literally, mean the difference between life or death. This is why it is crucial to keep a well-stocked first-aid kit in your home. If, for example, a member of your household suffers a very deep wound which cuts a large artery or vein, being able to quickly access sterile gauze and antiseptic wash could help to prevent them from experiencing severe blood loss or infection.

In addition to the aforementioned antiseptic wash and gauze, a basic first aid kit should also include eye wash, medical tape, plasters, antihistamines, painkillers, hydrocortisone cream, a thermometer, tweezers and cotton wool. If you reside in a very cold climate, it may also be wise to keep an emergency foil blanket in your kit, in case someone you know develops hypothermia. Last but not least, if anyone in your household has a severe allergy which, if triggered, could result in them experiencing anaphylactic shock, you should have one of their prescribed adrenaline auto-injectors (sometimes referred to as an epi-pen) in the kit as well.