A couple of weeks ago, a close relative of mine was in a bad car accident during bad weather. His cell phone and all other contact information was left in his vehicle that was towed to an impound lot; he was taken to the emergency room by ambulance. This happened late in the day and by the time the hospital was ready to discharge him, he had no phone or numbers to call to notify anyone to come get him. There he sat in the emergency waiting room trying to figure out how to get help. He was banged up, heavily medicated for the intense pain he was in and confused. The only reason we were contacted at 3 am the following morning is because the hospital had his old information on file from years ago. Luckily, we were able to get to him and bring him home.
This terrible situation (along with leaving a very sick patient alone in a waiting room) got me to thinking about where do most people keep emergency contact information that can be easily found in case an emergency happens? Many of us use our smart phones for our contact information. That won’t work for emergency responders when you are unconscious and can’t give them information. I know my phone has a code I enter in order to access my information. I could wind up in the same situation as my relative if I don’t have my phone or can’t remember someone’s phone number to call.
If you don’t have contact information in your wallet or billfold, I would suggest taking care of this today while it is on your mind. Put it with your driver’s license. You may even want to put a copy of the information on your sun visor or in your glove box. Some emergency responders will look there for this information.
What if the emergency happens at home? Time can be of the essence. Where in your home is a place that an emergency responder could easily see?
· A refrigerator door
· By a telephone
· On the wall beside the front door
· On your nightstand beside your bed
You may be unconscious or not able to think clearly in an emergency and having someone you trust contacted quickly can ensure decisions made on your behalf are what you would want done.
Get those emergency numbers and contacts placed in strategic locations today. I hope they will never be needed, but if an emergency happens at least you are one step closer to having someone you trust contacted.