How to be Medically Alert!

How to be Medically Alert!

How to be Medically Alert!

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Life is busy and many of us work, have families, travel and pretty much keep our days very
full. As we have children, or especially as we get older, it gets hard to keep track of everything.
One thing that is essential to have documented is our medical history.

Let’s talk…

We start by filling out those “medical forms” for school and trying to keep track of inoculations
for our kids. We end up seeing several different specialists for multiple diagnoses and can never
remember their names or phone numbers when we really need them. And then there are the
medications. So many people take them indiscriminately, not realizing that taking medications
improperly often leads to hypertensive crisis, diabetic ketoacidosis, or overdose, to name a few.
With all the electronic medical records out there, it should be easier to keep track of things, but
many offices to not communicate with each other.

It is the patient’s responsibility to know what they are taking for meds,
who they are seeing and what every diagnosis is. They should get help with this
from their primary care office, but things can slip through the cracks quite easily.
Here are some hints to keep track of your physicians and treatment. This is especially important
if you travel frequently, have memory problems or have multiple diagnoses.

1) Have a folder for each person in the house with their full name and date of birth
2) Keep a card (stapled to a piece of paper) for each of your physicians
3) On that piece of paper write any diagnosis, meds ordered, and dates of visits
4) Ask for copies of results for every test you have done (x-rays, EKG, etc.)
5) Go to one pharmacy. This way they can keep track of medication and interactions.
6) Ask your pharmacy for the package insert for each of your meds (for side effects)
7) Keep a copy of your last blood work. You should have a comparison for the next draw.
8) If you travel, see if your PCP can put your history on a thumb drive/ memory stick
9) Wear a medical alert bracelet for allergies, heart conditions, diabetes, blood thinners
10)  Have an updated medication/ allergy/ physician list for any new practitioner you see.
These steps sound like a hassle but they are very important. If you are in an accident, the rescuers
need to know you are on a blood thinner. If you are allergic to nuts and your throat is closing, you
need something to communicate this.
So take an hour, pull together a folder, collect cards and update it frequently. It could save your
life but if nothing else, it will definitely save you time.

Citations

  • Keasberry J, Scott IA, Sullivan C, Staib A, Ashby R. Going digital: a narrative overview of the clinical and organisational impacts of eHealth technologies in hospital practice. Aust Health Rev. 2017 Jan 9; PubMed PMID: 28063462

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www.Spine-Health.com/author/john-h-shim-md-facs

Chief of Surgery, Mease Countryside and Mease Dunedin Hospitals, Safety Harbor and Dunedin, Florida. 2014-2016.

Orthopaedic Section Chief Mease Countryside Hospital; Safety Harbor, Florida Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.2008-2013

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Co-Director of Mease Neuro-Ortho Spine Center Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.

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2014 Spine Specialists to know list – September 2014

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The information provided on this website does not provide or should be considered medical advice. It is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment of any condition. The information provided is for informational purposes only. You should not rely solely on the information provided on this website in making a decision to pursue a specific treatment or advice. You should consult directly with a professional healthcare provider.

As a condition of using the information on this website, ShimSpine and its physicians are not responsible for any advice, diagnosis, treatment or outcome you may obtain.

ShimSpine.com is completely self-funded. No outside funds are accepted or used. This website does not utilize paid advertising as a source of revenue.
Outpatient Spine Surgery Considerations. www.Spine-Health.com. January 2016.

What is Spinal Stenosis? www.Spine-Health.com. October 2015.

Surgeon insights on the Changing Landscape of Orthopedic Care. OrthopedicToday. June 2014

Chapter 33: Interspinous Spacers. Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

Chapter 35: Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Lumbar Fusion Technique.Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

March 2010 Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting New Orleans, Louisiana February 2010

February 2010 A Review of Dynamic Stabilization in the Lumbar Spine Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

November 2009 Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Community Based Lecture; Tampa, Florida

September 2009 Instructor/Proctor Minimally Invasive Lumbar Cadaver Lab; Tampa, Florida

February 2009 New Spinal Technology: Cervical Disc Replacement and Interspinous Spacers. Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

February 2008 The Degenerative Spine: The Role of Dynamic Lumbar Stablization and Interspinous Spacers Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

October 2008 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

September 2007 Emerging Technology in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

October 2006 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

May 2005 The Role of Kyphoplasty in the Treatment of Vertebral Compression Fractures Mease Neurosciences Symposium; Clearwater, Florida
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