Local News

Be Prepared In Case Of Holiday Health Emergency

Posted December 20, 2004 11:41 a.m. EST

— The last thing you may think about while traveling during the holidays is a medical emergency.

They do happen and many people are not prepared with the information they need to get treated quickly.

The emergency department staff at Rex Hospital is used to busy days, but the holidays always seem to be even busier.

"With the holidays and people traveling, we are the closest hospital to the airport, so if there are any airport issues, people are going to be transported here," said Dr. Brian Quigley.

When they come, Quigley is cautious not to treat patients without knowing something about their medical history.

"Patients should try to provide us with their past medical records, a list of medical problems that they've had -- allergies, list of medications," he said.

John Rose, of Raleigh, came to get checked out for light headedness and tingling in the hands and feet. He is on high blood pressure medication and is allergic to penicillin.

"I think my wife has copies of those in a file. She takes them with her whenever we go someplace," Rose said.

If you are traveling for the holidays, be sure to bring bottles of medication, rather than loose pills. Then if there are any problems, your doctor can know exactly what you're taking.

"It gives us a chance to go through their bottles and we can kind of get an idea of their past medical history and how recently they had their medications filled. If we need to, we can contact the pharmacy that's on the bottle," Quigley said.

When you are prepared for the unexpected, you can expect quicker, better treatment and more time with those you traveled to see.

For people with chronic health problems, check with your doctor before traveling. It is also a good idea to have your doctor's phone number with you.