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Survivorship A to Z - : Summary
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Information about all aspects of finances affected by a serious health condition. Includes income sources such as work, investments, and private and government disability programs, and expenses such as medical bills, and how to deal with financial problems.
Information about all aspects of health care from choosing a doctor and treatment, staying safe in a hospital, to end of life care. Includes how to obtain, choose and maximize health insurance policies.
Answers to your practical questions such as how to travel safely despite your health condition, how to avoid getting infected by a pet, and what to say or not say to an insurance company.

Medical Emergency: How To Be Prepared

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While emergencies can happen to anyone, you may be more vulnerable to emergencies because of your health history. It is suggested that you take a few minutes to prepare in case an emergency arises "just in case."  An outline follows. More information is in the other sections of this article.

You do not have to take all these steps at once. Perhaps do one a day. To be sure you are prepared, it is helpful to give yourself a deadline. 

Consider:

  • The types of emergency care available near your home, where you work, and any other place in which you spend substantial amounts of time. 
    • Think about which facility to go to for various events. For instance, a small medical problem or a life challenging emergency. (While you're at it, learn how to maximize your time in an Emergency Room
    • If you need life threatening emergency care, which of the available emergency rooms do you want to go to? If you can, go to the hospital where your doctor works. He or she can oversee your care.  
  • How and what to communicate to first emergency responders about your health condition, current status, and medications you are taking.
    • In case you become unable to communicate, wear a medical i.d. alert around your neck or on your wrist. to let first emergency responders know about your medical condition in case you are unable to communicate. 
    • Carry in your wallet or purse information about your medical history, treatment and/or medications. Consider carrying the information on a computer flash drive or card that fits in your wallet.
    • Sign up for WindowsPhone offsite link. (free). This app tells first responders your blood type, allergies, medications and emergency cotacts. 
  • Place an entry on your mobile phone for "ICE" - an acronym for "in case of emergency". 
    • List the phone numbers of the person or people to notify in case of emergency. 
    • You can either list the entry just as "ICE" or you can add a name. For example, "ICE1-Charlie." 
    • Ideally, your emergency contact(s) knows your medical history, allergies, and how to contact your doctor(s). 
  • Put a notice in your bedroom if you do not want to be brought back if your heart or lungs stop (rescucitated). 
  • The financial and legal steps to take now so you are prepared in the event of a medical emergency.
  • Think about how to get through a disaster that may affect a treatment facility or your ability to get medications.
  • Prepare for medical emergencies that may come up during travel.
    • If no local doctor is available, consider talking with a doctor on line. For instance, through NowClinic offsite link, an endeavor of Optum Health that lets you speak with a doctor for up to 10 minutes for a small fee ($45 in 2013). 
  • Consider what to do if you have underage children and cannot care for them because of a medical emergency.

Survivorship A to Z provides a prioritizer to list the steps you decide to take. You can number the steps with your order of priority. A push of a button reorder the list to your priority. 

NOTE: While speaking about emergencies, be sure to protect your property and pocketbook in the event of a loss with Homeowners Insurance and Automobile Insurance. Objective, unbiased information about what to look for, how to minimize cost, and how to file claims, is contained in the documents in "To Learn More." 


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