Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Parent2Parent Tip #10: In Case of Emergency

In cases of emergency it seems that so many things are happening all at the same time. One can easily become overwhelmed. I learned a valuable lesson one night when my son had a seizure.

It was late. I was talking on the phone with a friend when I heard a large thud in my son's room. Immediately I got up to check on him. I found him lying on the ground unconscious having a full tonic clonic (grand mal) seizure. I took a mental note of the time, position he was found in and secured the area of any thing that could harm him before calling 911. I'm sitting next to my son, taking deep breaths. The dispatch person is asking question. I calmly answered and then asked the dispatch person to stay on the line with me. Almost 5 minutes have passed and my son is slowly starting to come out of the seizure. He's still not fully conscious, slipping in and out of sleep as I softly speak to him, reassuring him that he is okay and informing him that he had a seizure. The person on the other end of the phone listens quietly. When she spoke, she said I was a good mom. I thanked her.

The EMTs are due to arrive at any time. Moving quickly I go down the hall to open the front door and returned to my son's side. A few minutes later I heard a voice call out from the living room. I called them back to my son's room where he rests on his side on the floor. He is not stable enough to stand yet. Frazzled but remaining calm I engage in answer the EMTs questions. It seemed that questions were coming from all 4 corners of the room. It felt like I was in warp speed and moving in slow motion at the same time. It was a very strange sensation.
I could have saved myself a bit of a headache if I had the proper information posted and readily available in case of emergencies.

On my son's door I have the following information posted:

Date of Birth
Primary Diagnosis
Current Medications and Dosages
Preferred Hospital
Hospital Medical Record Number
General information  - Demeanor, Ability to Understand, Ability to answer questions, Ability to respond to requests, etc.
Next of Kin and contact information

In another location where I keep my son's medications, I have posted an additional listing of medications with dosage, times administered and frequency. This tid-bit will be needed if I am having an emergency and have to call someone to watch my son. That way while I'm gone, my friends will know what medications he needs to take and when.

No truer words have been spoken when they say hind sight is 20/20. Anyone of us can be caught off guard when facing an emergency. It comforting to know that I am better prepared having pertinent information readily available for those times.

You may want to think of a safe place to display your child(rens) pertinent medical information in case of emergencies. Then all you will have to do is direct medical staff/friend/family member to the location of the information. Be sure to keep this information up-to-date. Also have a laminated copy to place in suitcases or overnight bags when traveling. I would also encourage you to give a copy of this information to the school nurse or office personnel in case there is an emergency during school hours.

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