I was inspired to write this article after an emergency medical event occurred involving a single friend here in Quail Creek. We could not get into his cell phone for information; we did not know what medications he was taking and we had no emergency contact, all required by the doctor. Even though with a little sleuthing the information finally surfaced, it really started me thinking about how that could have been easier. I made a visit to our local Fire Department where I gathered some good information.
Our Quail Creek Singles Club had a meeting about a week after the event and I shared my concerns with the group. We came up with the following preparation tips for not only single residents, but everyone. Following are a few things to consider, minimizing precious time and energy spent on finding out how to help someone in the case of a medical emergency:
1. Place important information on your refrigerator, including your full name, date of birth, an emergency contact number, doctor’s name and number and the medications you are currently taking. These are questions a first responder is likely to ask. The Fire Department furnishes cards, which they suggest we place inside the refrigerator (in the case of a fire). You may wish to take this further by creating a list of passwords for your computer, a contact list of your financial institutions, etc., so your dear ones can get to work fast instead of calling out the detectives!
2. Have a buddy system with at least one friend or neighbor close by to you. Make an agreement to allow a phone call any time, night or day. I know friends who have agreements with their neighbors, using signals like open blinds every morning indicating you are all right.
3. Place your emergency contact name and number in your cell phone contact list under “ICE,” denoting “in case of emergency.” Having your cell phone handy at times when you might be alone, dialing 911 is the best way to contact assistance when help is not in sight.
4. Place a keypad outside your garage which syncs up with your garage door opener so that someone can access your home by entering a secret code to open your garage door instead of finding a key to your house.
5. Have the Fire Department install a lock box outside your home with your house key inside. This is helpful in case of fire or an emergency where access is needed to your home. Call 520-625-9438. There is a nominal fee.
6. Take a drive down to our new Green Valley Hospital and request a tour. Find out where the Emergency Department is located so you can drive someone there without wasting time.
7. The Fire Department has a Nurse Practitioner on call if your medical condition is an emergency. Call 520-428-0550. Visit www.gvfire.org.
8. Let the Fire Department replace your smoke detectors annually; $20 includes the cost of batteries. This is a very good deal and it keeps us off step ladders!
9. Have some canned foods on hand just in case you cannot get to the market right after your emergency. You don’t need to build your underground bunker or bring in weapons to prepare for the apocalypse, but just try to plan ahead a little.
10. If you are a golfer, you might wish to think about carrying some first-aid items in your golf cart like Band-Aids, tweezers, extra water and whatever medications you may require.
Thank you for considering how you can help yourself and others deal with a potential medical emergency. Cheers!