A plan-ahead strategy is important for that unexpected downturn in the cancer patient’s health requiring an ambulance and/or a visit to emergency at hospital.
A carer or someone familiar with your medical history should be with you in case you become confused or not in a position to speak for yourself. First inform emergency that YOU HAVE CANCER.
Keep all medical information in a folder to take with you including and information about Medicare, your health fund if applicable, ambulance, your complete medical team and carers. This should also include a detailed medical history, including diagnosis, what chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgeries you has received (not just cancer related).
You and your carer should know the name of your current chemotherapy treatment, date of last treatment and a comprehensive list of current medications, both prescription and over-the-counter including dosage. It is important to leave medication in original packaging to take with you too.
Record information about the current state of the patient such as most recent temperatures taken and any other symptoms you have. This is where writing in your daily journal is relevant. It’s also important to note any lymphedema, drug allergies, especially to antibiotics, to dressings etc.
Until confronted with that first emergency, the questions asked by medical/ambulance staff, coping with being very ill, panic and trying to remember everything you could never imagine just how crucial it is to have everything listed and written where you can find the information immediately.
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