Thursday, May 14, 2015

Why Every Child (and Adult) Should Have an Emergency Letter

In case of :

When I started looking around online I noticed that there isn’t clear information on this topic.

Our daughter has a Urea Cycle Disorder, which is a very serious medical condition. Her body cannot process proteins and when her body has too much protein her ammonia levels can become elevated which can cause brain swelling and put her in a coma. As everyone knows brain death can happen in a matter of minutes, even seconds so every moment counts in an emergency.

Jasmine admitted to the hospital

Not every child has a serious medical condition, but a lot of children have allergies and minor medical conditions that need to be known in case of an emergency. Please consider having an emergency letter ready in case your babysitter or family member or friend has to rush your child to the ER. Usually we keep a list of important numbers to call in case of an emergency, but does your babysitter or grandmother know the exact name of your child’s issues? Keep a list of all of the medications your child takes regularly because as you know they ask in an emergency. If you have an elderly relative please make sure this is done for each and every one with their diagnoses and medications, but also do this for yourself. You never know what could happen.

Have you ever been in a situation where a friend became sick and you needed to know their possible conditions or medications they take? Consider keeping an emergency letter on hand for every member of the house with an attached list of medications you or they regularly take and dosage information. Imagine something happened to you, would your family members know all of this critical information? If there was a quick letter and list to grab it could make a life saving difference.

Jasmine in the ER
Our daughter’s letter:

Her letter was prepared by her physician’s team and has the letterhead of the hospital we are seen at. It has the direct phone numbers for the clinic and on-call line. The letter begins with the nature of her condition and what she is at risk for. The letter is very direct about the seriousness of her illness. It has a list of symptoms and what to do if she needs immediate action. Our letter has the IV solution and list of initial labs to be taken should any emergency room be unsure.

When our daughter was first diagnosed they gave us this letter and we took it immediately to Staples to get copies and to get the copies laminated. (HINT HINT: don't be lazy, get it laminated!!!) My husband and I both have copies of this letter on our cell phones saved with a “favorites” label to make it easy to get to.

Her letter is part of our medical binder that we take to her appointments and record all of her hospitalizations as well as her test results. As you can imagine, if this is a frequent process for you or a loved one, it comes in handy so one person doesn’t have to be responsible for all of this information. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi!

    I have several medical conditions as well as drug allergies and that info, naturally, would be vital in an emergency situation. Most typical medical alert bracelets don't have adequate space for my needs. The one I have is from Medic Alert ( It has an ID number and a 1-800 number on the back (there's also room to list the most important condition on the bracelet itself). In an emergency, the paramedic, ER physician, or whoever would call the number and be connected with an operator. Once they give the operator my ID number, she would then relay all of my medical info (when you order the bracelet, you fill out a VERY detailed medical history - all surgeries, diagnoses, medications, allergies, physical description including a list of identifying marks and a picture - everything. I have artificial joints and they have the manufacturing info for my joints! The other nice feature is that while one operator is giving the info to medical personnel, another operator will call the emergency contacts listed in your file and let them know that you have been transported to the hospital and where to go. Cost: the bracelets vary in price based on the material. There are several kids styles in nylon and I think paracord that run on the $20-25 range. Mine is surgical steel (i have metal allergies) and it was about $35. You can get gold, silver, lots of choices. The first year of service is included in the cost of the bracelet. Every year thereafter is $19.95. They also have additional document savi g services and such, but the base is sufficient for most. I hope this is helpful. If you have any questions, my email is .