An emergency is, by its very definition, something that is unexpected and requires immediate attention. And yet, most people do not invest adequate time and energy to plan ahead. Individuals and families managing a bleeding disorder already know that life is pretty good at throwing us curve balls – do we really want to leave something as important as our unique healthcare needs up to fate? Planning ahead might not stop certain events from happening, but it sure can have a positive impact on the outcome. Planning ahead will allow you to use your energy to stay focused on the solution, not the problem. It is recommended that every person with a bleeding disorder have a “to go” bag ready at all times.
What to include in your “To Go” Bag
Be sure your name, address and phone number are boldly displayed inside the pack just in case it is ever lost or for quick reference by emergency personnel.
- Important papers: Travel Letter from HTC, copy of insurance card, Emergency Care Guide, Emergency Contact Form
- Kids items: books, small toys, comfort item, bubbles (distracts and promotes deep breathing)
- An empty zip-lock bag for your factor. Pop in the factor, along with a flexible ice pack, just before you leave.
- A zip-lock bag already stocked with everything you need for an emergency infusion:
For peripheral infusions:
- EMLA cream (if needed)
- butterfly needles
- alcohol wipes
For port infusions:
- sterile gloves
- sterile mask
- port access kit
- port access needles
- sterile pre-filled syringes
Where to keep your “To Go” Bag
- Leave the pack somewhere handy and take it with you as you would your car keys. Get in the habit of grabbing your “To Go” Bag every time you go on a long trip, day excursions, any place that is a distance from home.
- Keep the pack in the front seat of the car with you where it will be visible and accessible in an emergency. (It’s not much good to you stuck in a smashed-in trunk.)
- Place a label of some kind on the outside of the pack stating “Emergency Medical Supplies and Information.” That way, if you are ever in a car accident, emergency personnel will send the pack with you to the hospital.
- Don’t forget the pack in the car if it contains factor products. You are responsible for protecting them from freezing and overheating!