Information to know before heading to the ER

October 12, 2010 3:05:04 PM PDT
You never expect to end up in a hospital's emergency room. However, just as your mother said that was the reason to always wear clean underwear and have no holes in your socks. It's good to be prepared, just in case an emergency arises.

Gregorio Lucero is a cook in a local restaurant. He sliced tortillas and cut himself when his knife slipped. He came to Roosevelt's ER Tuesday morning. Was he prepared with his doctor's phone number?

"The doctors phone number, I don't have, but I have my ID."

Well, one out of two is not bad. Fortunately, Gregorio does not take medications or have allergies, but if he did, ER Specialists says those facts, his insurance card, and history of surgery or procedures are nice to have.

Dr. Elan Levy, doctor from St. Luke Hospital, said, "Those are the patients we really rejoice over, but I think the majority of patients don't come in with the appropriate information and it just makes our job a little bit harder."

It is hard enough for doctors to make you better, so anything you can do helps a lot - such as expecting a long wait. Bring a paper or some reading material in case a sicker patient comes in.

The resources of the ER Department have to focus on that patient at that time so your blood work, your results, your pain medication, all may have to wait until that patient stabilizes.

In addition, bring some small bills for the vending machine. A little treat can help pass the time.

Some other things to have with you include a cell phone charger. Though you may not be able to make phone calls, you may want to access your doctor's information on the phone. Bring a sweater during colder weather, and perhaps a change of clothes.

If you are exercising, keep your ID, including your blood type, in a waterproof wallet or zip-closing baggie.

"I normally try to carry my ID so people can contact relatives and even my insurance card if I'm rushed to an emergency room," said a cyclist.

One cyclist appears to have it all under control, except that he told Eyewitness News he forgot to take that stuff with him.

For kids, parents should bring their immunization records and some coloring books and simple games to keep them occupied should there be a wait.