I recently had a pretty scary thing happen to me and it got me thinking about medical emergencies while away from home. Granted, we have been here in Charleston for a few months, but neither of us has needed an emergency room or even a doctor for that matter. So when I found myself facing a rather serious medical emergency, I realized that I was ill prepared to manage it. I didn’t even know where the nearest emergency room was.
Here’s the kicker: I have had all my certifications for CPR (adult, child, and infant), AED, O2, and First Aid since I was a teenager. I have helped people in accidents, performed CPR on several people, including my own child, and dealt with various kid emergencies when my children were growing up.
There I was. I was in my camper and my blood pressure began spiking. I haven’t had blood pressure issues in years, but I had been dealing with a lot and the stress was catching up with me. A friend happened to text me while I was looking for an ER and told me of a facility that was only six minutes away.
When I got to the ER my blood pressure was 225/130. There was quite the flurry of activity and I had to stay in the hospital for tests. It was not fun.
So these are my tips for managing a medical emergency while camping.
Have a copy of your medical records or access to them.
Now that many hospitals and doctors are going to electronic health records (EHRs), patients have access to at least a portion of their medical records like tests, general stats, and doctor notes. Either keep a copy handy (especially if you have any health issues) or know how to access your EHR online.
Learn CPR and First Aid
Even if you aren’t camping, everyone should know CPR and at least basic first aid. Check with your local hospital, college, Red Cross, or YMCA for certification classes. It is well worth it and could save a life.
Get a First Aid Book
A good reference book on First Aid is something you should have in your RV or home all the time. The American Red Cross has a good one, or there is the Living Ready Pocket Manual First Aid.
Get a First Aid Kit
You should have a good first aid kit in your RV. Many that are ready made have the basics, but make sure that you add other essentials that your kit may be lacking, like eye wash, flashlight, and Pedialyte (for dehydration).
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