What to do in Case of an Emergency
Many caregivers have expressed concern regarding what to do in case of an emergency. Below is a list of common questions. Always remember that you know your loved best so if there is something that doesn’t seem right, it’s always best to get it checked out. Don’t be afraid to CALL 911.
The following is a list of questions with answers (A) that other caregivers in your situation have found helpful in caring for a loved one with stroke.
What can I do to prepare for an emergency?
A. Here are some strategies:
- Always have a plan in place in case you, the caregiver, have an emergency. Make a list of the people to contact with contact (telephone and/or email address) information.
- Keep a list with you at all times of all your loved ones medications including: the
name, dose, and how frequently they are taken, who ordered them.
-What allergies does your loved one have?
- Below is a website that can assist you in creating a medication chart.
My Med Schedule http://www.mymedschedule.com/features/medication_chart.asp
- Keep a list of the medical history of the person you are caring for.
What do I do if my loved one is choking?
A. Stroke survivors often times have difficulty when eating solid food. Listed below are steps to follow:
- Assure that the person is actually choking, if they can speak and breath, do nothing.
- If the person cannot breath or speak to you TAKE ACTION: Do the Heimlich Maneuver
- Reassure the person
- Support his or her body
- Landmark and apply abdominal thrusts
- Repeat until object is expelled
- Here is a web site that demonstrates the Heimlich Maneuver
- Here are the warning signs:
- Changes in the person’s behavior or mental status.
- Trouble with speaking or understanding.
- Difficult walking or with coordination.
- Numbness, weakness, or complete loss of use of an arm or leg.
- Unequal facial expression that don’t look the same on both sides like a drooping mouth or drooling or lop-sided smile.
- Sudden extreme headache without cause
Visit the American Heart Association's web page for 5 signs of a stroke.
What should I do if my loved one falls?
A. Do not move the person!
- Determine if the person is conscious (alert.)
- Determine if the patient has visible injury. There may be a broken bone if;
- Person heard a “snap”.
- Deformity and pain at site of injury.
- Reduced movement of limb.
What you should do next…
- Do not move the injured site.
- If there is bleeding, control it by placing light pressure with a clean cloth.
CALL 911 if you think your loved one is:
- injured from the fall and needs immediate medical assistance.
- having another stroke
The following are web sites to provide you with more information about what to do in case of an emergency:
Emergency care at home. (2012) Retrieved from http://www.emedicinehealth.com/choking/page6_em.htm
Griffin, W.B. (Ed.) (2005). Essentials of musculoskeletal care (3rd ed). Rosemont, IL: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
In case of an emergency. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.emrgatutsc.com/index.php?dir=contactus&content=in_case_of_emergency
Developed in 2012 by Jenn DelVero, RN BSN, at the University of Toledo for the Caring~Web©.