Taking care of your and others' health How to prepare for a possible medical emergency

Many of us have been in emergencies of one kind or another. And we may have to deal with them again. Therefore, knowing how to prepare for a medical emergency is quite essential.

So, how exactly can you prepare for one?

Learn the basics of first aid

A medical emergency is a sudden illness or injury that requires immediate action. Performing first aid, before seeking proper medical care, can be seen as one such action. To do so you might need a well-equipped first aid kit; it should be available at a local pharmacy. You might want to keep one at home and another in your car, so you can quickly access it in an emergency situation.

At times, a nurse or doctor may not be easily available so it’s useful to know first aid basics.

In our everyday lives, emergencies need not always be big and rare medical incidents like heart attacks but can be smaller and more common ones, too. For example, you might cut your finger chopping vegetables or burn yourself while cooking. If you have a first aid kit and the right knowledge and skills of first aid, you can take action immediately. Most basic first aid courses or guides will cover methods to address such incidents. They may suggest cleaning and bandaging the cut using the contents of the kit and treating the burn by placing it under cool running water for a few minutes.

Whatever the emergency, first aid is simply the initial action and not the only action.

Now that you know first aid can be a regular part of your day-to-day life, it’s easy to see its importance. With basic first aid skills, you will also be able to support others when they have an urgent medical need.

Know your and your family’s health status and history

Some of us only visit a nurse or doctor when we feel sick or get badly injured. However, you should make it a point to get a check-up at regular intervals, that is, once in a few months or a year. At some of these check-ups, your doctor may ask you to do some routine tests, depending on your age and medical history, to correctly assess your health status.

Staying up to date with your health status will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle and detect potential health problems at an early stage. Therefore, it’s also likely to reduce your chances of being in a medical emergency.

If you are in good health yourself, then you will be able to properly care for others around you, mainly your family. If you were not in good health, it would be difficult for you to give them the care they may need. This is the reason airlines ask you to care for yourself before caring for someone else.

Before helping someone, always check that you are in the right condition to do so.

To effectively help yourself or a member of your family in an emergency, you should try to improve your family’s overall preparedness. You can do this by maintaining a record of all of your personal medical or health histories. So that, in case of an emergency, you may already know what symptoms to look for and what type of care you or your family members need. From these histories, you can also make a list of emergency-related information and medication that’s easily available to you all.

Find out where to get emergency care and assistance

Just as important as knowing first aid and your health status is knowing where to get professional help should you need it. It’s really simple knowledge but can be extremely useful to both you and others around you in an emergency.

A little knowledge can prevent the situation from getting worse.

No matter where you live, you should always know how to contact or reach the nearest health clinic or hospital. Other contacts you should know include the emergency helpline of your region, to call for assistance or an ambulance, and the phone numbers of your doctor and a trusted friend or family member. To the best of your abilities and for your and your family’s benefit, you should try to learn these phone numbers by heart.

Now, if you ever find yourself in an emergency, one should of course hope not, you will be well prepared.

Are you feeling inspired enough to learn more on how to prepare yourself for a medical emergency? Then you might want to try out some of these popular courses.

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