In Case of an Emergency...
When in Doubt, Call 911
But what is the best way for you to manage a sudden illness or emergency? The most important thing you should do to prepare for any such emergencies is this:
Important Note: Ambulance response to our community is a minimum of 10-15 minutes away after calling 9-1-1, regardless of the type of emergency. With this in mind, consider talking to your neighbours about the possibility of them being included in your emergency plan. As a group, we may decide to purchase and install an AED for community use. But that is a tool at best. The most important action you can take right now is to have your Personal Medical Plan in place for an emergency.
Your Personal Medical Plan should include information that outlines what should be done for you, or by you, in an emergency. This might include:
Key health information (diabetes, existing conditions, allergies);
Your family doctor or medical care professional;
List of medications;
Locations of those medications in your home;
Family or friends who should be contacted in an emergency and how to contact them;
Anything else that you think is important for others to know!
Review and update this information regularly, and leave a copy of your plan in a prominent place in your home. Mark that envelope "Medical Info" so that there's no uncertainty about what it is. Ideally, place your plan in an envelope and leave attached to some obvious location such as your refrigerator, or in close proximity to your front door, such that it can be easily found by First Responders. Mark that envelope "Medical Info" so that there's no uncertainty about what it contains.
There is no better safeguard than for you to plan ahead. And if you're on your own, the best response is always dialling 9-1-1. Also worth considering is installing a Lock Box (with a key code to access) that contains keys to access your house. Anyone calling 9-1-1 should inform the dispatcher of this code to facilitate easy access to your home (without needing to damage the door to gain access).
Here are some quick links to more information about heart attacks, strokes, and allergic reactions.
Create a Personal Emergency Plan