Emergency "Go Bags" For The Chronically Ill And Their Caregivers

Health & Medical Blog

Do you have a chronic health condition that sometimes erupts into an emergency? Is a loved one suffering from an illness or another medical condition that sometimes has you rushing out the door to the local urgent care facility?

It's time to get a "go bag" together. Emergency room and urgent care facilities can get easily overwhelmed, especially when there are extreme temperatures happening (like the middle of summer or winter). People who have chronic health problems can be physically overwhelmed very easily—and end up seeking emergency care when they can't manage their conditions at home any longer. That can leave both the patient and his or her caregivers in a bind.

You can practice a little self-care by prepping a bag and keeping it by the door for emergencies. What you can't keep in the bag itself can be quickly added on the way out the door. Here's what to pack and take with you.

1. Medical Information

No matter where you seek medical treatment, you're bound to need a few pieces of medical information with you. An emergency situation is no time to rely on your memory. Keep an updated list of the following in your bag:

  • Your medications, including dosage and the condition for which they are prescribed
  • Your doctors' names and contact information, including their specialties
  • Your pharmacy's contact information (including the nearest 24-hour pharmacy you can use)
  • A list of your drug allergies and what reaction you have 
  • A list of your medical conditions and when you were diagnosed

This can be invaluable in situations where you aren't able to give clear information yourself and your caregiver (or the person with you) is too rattled to remember everything important. It could save you from a potentially disastrous mistake!

2. Basic Comfort Items

This can mean different things to different people, but almost every patient will agree that emergency rooms and urgent care facilities are cold. That's because cool temperatures help keep down bacteria—so the chill is actually deliberate! Throw a small blanket or a shawl in your bag and a spare pair of socks.

In addition, you want to keep a plastic travel bag full of the following items:

  • Hair care items, including a travel brush, shampoo, conditioner, and gel
  • Sanitary wipes or instant hand sanitizer 
  • A disposable toothbrush and a small tube of toothpaste
  • Moisturizer
  • Contact lens case (if needed)
  • Denture case (if needed)

While not essential, these are the sort of items that nobody likes to be caught without if they end up being admitted.

3. Entertainment

There tends to be a lot of waiting when you're sitting around a hospital's emergency room or at an urgent care clinic. Here are some suggestions for entertainment items to keep in your bag:

  • A spare charger for your e-reader or phone
  • A notebook and pen
  • A favorite book (or two)

It's easy to stress yourself out worrying about what's happening to your body, so entertainment items are not frivolous at all! They can keep your mind off your physical condition and help you relax. 

Everybody has their own way of coping with chronic medical issues. Knowing that you're ready to handle a trip to an urgent care facility or emergency room can make you feel more secure about managing your condition—even when things seem largely out of your control. For more information, contact emergency health services.


2 July 2019

Help Others Make Health Decisions when They Cannot

One day I was playing a game of basketball with a friend, and the friend I was playing ball with tripped and took a hard fall to the ground. He hit his head hard, but he insisted he was okay and just wanted to go home and take a nap. I knew in my heart that he was not thinking clearly, and I didn't feel right letting him go home. I talked him into letting me take him to the hospital, and after some tests, it was determined he had a bad concussion. The doctors told me that if I had let him go home and sleep, things could have taken a turn for the worse. I created this blog to remind everyone to look out for each other after injuries. Not everyone thinks clearly after a head injury, and just being a good friend could save a life.