Serving the country as part of the military can be fulfilling. However, the journey can also be lonely for most military members who miss being with their families. And when their family needs help, they won’t be able to provide them the proper care and support because of their duties.
Military service members are stationed across the world. Serving their duties usually takes most of their time intended for their families. However, they may file a military leave for a break, but the time given may not suffice.
Being a part of a military family may be difficult for you, especially when dealing with serious medical emergencies. Such unfortunate events may happen anytime, and when a family member is out protecting the country, the need for additional help is crucial.
Since your other half may not be around to help you, it would be best to create an emergency plan that will help you tackle problems when a health-related disaster strikes. In addition, you may do this when your loved ones aren’t in service so that they’ll have peace of mind when they leave.
Here are some tips to help prepare your family for medical emergencies:
- Learn The Basics of Medical Emergencies
To successfully deal with medical emergencies, you should know the basics that will help you increase the patient’s chance of survival. Here are some common situations and what to do in case they occur:
- Patient Is Experiencing Agonal Breathing
Agonal breathing is short gasps of air, usually when a person suffers from cardiac arrest or a heart attack. Also, when a person is experiencing agonal breathing, it means that they lack oxygen to breathe normally. That’s why they are gasping for air. Usually, agonal breathing is a sign that the person is nearly dying, so you have to take action immediately.
Here are the things you need to do:
First, call 911 and tell the dispatcher about the patient’s abnormal breathing. In most cases, people don’t know when someone is in agonal breathing, leading to more severe problems. To prevent it from becoming worse, the dispatcher may ask you to perform a hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
However, only do this if the person is suffering from cardiac arrest. If you don’t know how to do it, tell the dispatcher, and they’ll instruct you along the process while waiting for the paramedics to arrive. Also, mouth-to-mouth breathing may only worsen the condition, so skip it as much as possible.
- Patient Is Choking
First, check if the patient is making a noise. If they do, then don’t do anything and let them try to fix it on their own. However, if the patient isn’t making any noise and their face is turning red, you have to take action immediately. When this happens, you need to perform the Heimlich maneuver in a five-to-five manner. It means that you should perform five back blows and five abdominal thrusts until the cause of choking is removed.
Performing the Heimlich maneuver on people who can still laugh, cry, or produce noise may only worsen their condition and put them in grave danger.
- Patient Is Bleeding
When someone is bleeding, you may call 911 immediately and wait for them to arrive. While waiting, apply direct pressure on the wound that causes excessive bleeding using a dry cloth. Maintain this position until the medical team has arrived.
Don’t try to wrap it tightly. According to experts, these causes further tissue damage, which is dangerous for the patient.
- Patient Suffers from Stroke
When someone suddenly suffers from a stroke, the first thing you need to do is call 911. Then, take note of the symptoms the person is exhibiting. Also, it’s important not to give anything to the patient, especially food, medications, or drinks, and don’t let them sleep as much as possible. You may ask them questions to maintain their presence of mind.
While CPR on stroke cases is rare, it’s still possible when the patient losses their pulse, breathing, or heartbeat. If these happen, tell the dispatcher and perform CPR immediately.
- Keep Your Medical Records Ready
Keeping medical records handy provides medical professionals access to your medical history, existing conditions, and current medications. This will help them take proper actions immediately, especially during emergencies. Here are the documents you might need to prepare:
- Documents and Records
These include your insurance policy, financial records, valid IDs, DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) form, and other specific directives. You may keep this in a waterproof and portable container and make sure to always have them with you.
- List of Medication
Have a copy of the medications you’re currently taking and put them in your wallet. This will help your doctor determine which medicine should be given and which should not.
- List of Contacts
With your list of medications, prepare a contact list of people close to you, such as your family. These people will be called and informed about what happened to you.
- Discuss Your Condition With Your Loved Ones
Discussing your condition with your family helps them prepare the things they need to do in case something happens to you. Most people don’t want to do this because they don’t want to burden their families. However, it’s the other way around.
If you don’t tell them your condition, they wouldn’t know what to do during medical emergencies. This may only worsen your condition and result in higher medical treatment costs and emotional distress.
It’d be best to prepare them in advance to avoid unfortunate situations and expenses from occurring.
- Prepare A Hospital Overnight Bag
Emergencies are unexpected. Most cases require the patient to stay in the hospital overnight to conduct important tests necessary for diagnosis. So, it’s best to prepare the patient’s necessities in advance.
You need to prepare the following:
- Personal care supplies
- Hobbies to keep them in a good mood, such as books
- Other essentials to help them during the long night
Don’t forget to pack up for yourself since you have to be with them during their stay.
Military families have a limited amount of help, especially when one member is out in the field performing their duties. Because of this, the rest of the family members may experience difficult times handling medical emergencies. For this reason, preparing for the unexpected is the best practice.
With this, you’ll be able to reduce the difficulties brought by medical emergencies. Also, you’ll be able to prevent experiencing the worse-case scenarios with proper planning. So, discuss these things with your family and educate them on what they need to do in times of unexpected and life-threatening medical issues.