This morning I met with the school nurse at Brian's pre-school. I gave her the official sheet with information on Brian's nut allergies along with our emergency contact numbers. I also attached a photo of Brian taken on his first day of school with his green backpack - just so she'd know who he was. As we chatted, I expressed my desire that everyone be on the same page if anything were to happen. She offered to conduct an inservice with Brian's two teachers and his speech therapist - which made me much more comfortable. During the inservice she will go over what the steps would be if he were to have an allergic reaction - and how to use the EPI pen. The pharmacy gave me a "training EPI pen" which will come in handy for babysitters and anyone else in Brian's life. I'll bring that in for the nurse to use in her inservice.
At home, I created emergency boxes for both boys. They are stored in the cabinet right above the phone and easy to grab for either child in an emergency.
The night of Gavin's seizure with police and paramedics in our home, I realized just how helpful these boxes would be. In Gavin's box I have a package of the rectal Diastat (which is liquid Valium, essentially) in case he has a seizure lasting more than five minutes. I also have a new package of Lacrilube - the over the counter eye ointment he still needs once a day to protect the fragile cornea in his left eye. I also have copies of his primary insurance and his medical assistance cards.
Then I wrote out pages of information including birthdate, address, emergency contacts...pediatrician, allergies, medications...a section called "About Gavin" which you see above...and the name and number of his main doctor at DuPont Hospital.
In Brian's box I have his two EPI pens and a bottle of Benadryl stored.
I also have a copy of his insurance card, the "Food Allergy Plan" from his allergist with her name and number and instructions for the EPI pen. I also typed out the same information as Gavin's sheet and included the fact that Brian has a speech delay.
I really feel like it would be important for medical personnel to know what your children's "normal behavior" is. I would hate for them to mistake Gavin's low tone for something else. Or to think that his lack of eye contact meant something. Or even to think that Brian had slurred speech which meant something that it didn't. I tried to cover all the bases. I encourage all of you with young children to do this. Having been through an emergency - I can tell you that even someone who is normally calm in scary situations (like I typically am!) can panic and forget basic information. I would never expect someone caring for my children to remember all of this! The boxes give me a sense of security that I can leave the house again.
When I first thought of making these emergency kits, I posted the idea on Facebook. I can't tell you how grateful I am for Facebook - it's been such a great place for me to gather information from friends...many of whom came from this blog as readers and now feel like family! One 'friend' happens to be a paramedic. He was so generous to write to me with a rundown of what they typically ask when they get to a scene. If you are looking for a template of sorts to make your own emergency kit, here's what he sent to me. Thanks, Tim!
Name, birth date, Social Security, address, phone number, primary care physician(s), naming specialists would be a good addition, hospital preference, insurance information, emergency contact (thats more for the ER).
Clinically (for medical) we use acronym of OPQRST.
Onset (what was the patient doing at the onset)
Provocation (anything make it better or worse?)
Quality (what does the pain feel like?)
Radiation (Does the pain go anywhere?)
Severity (How bad is the pain? 1-10 scale, 10 being the worst)
Time (How long have "you" had the pain?)
Secondly, we use SAMPLE "history"
Allergies the patient may have (Needs to be in your packet!)
Medications currently being taken (Needs to be in your packet!)
Pertinent Past Medical History (Obviously, needs to be in your packet!)
Signs and symptoms- things associated with the complaint.
I tell my student's to think of things associated with that part of the body, example complaints would be abdominal pain, head pain or chest pain.
Last oral intake, the last meal and or last liquid intake
Events leading up too the complaint, this can be related at times to the O and T in the OPQRST.
Hopefully we won't run into an emergency with either child (or either of us!)...ever. But being prepared definitely gives Ed and I (and Miss Sara!) a sense of confidence going forward. I hope this is helpful to some of you!
ps... tomorrow I have pretty exciting Gavin news! And some adorable photos of my little 'Chirish' leprechaun!