Hospital Emergency Kit

Why does it seem like it’s always after hours or on a weekend when the kids or hubby ‘decide’ to get sick or injured? What is that about anyway? At least that is how it seems to happen at my house.

Our last adventure happened at 11:30 pm. Our oldest child (19) was as a friend’s home for the night (40 minutes away) and we get a call from the friends dad. In the background, we can hear our child screaming in pain. It turns out that pesky knee decided that now was the time to dislocate again, yes this has happened in the past, but the difference this time is that it did not go back into place after the fall to the ground as it has in the past. They called the ambulance  and headed to the ER as we jumped in the car to meet them there.

So here is the question. What items do you need to have with you for your unexpected ER/hospital/Dr visit? What things should you grab to smooth out the ‘weirdness’ of this situation?

With 6 kids, I’ve learned, by experience, the things that make this experience go much more smoothly. I’ve done my share of sitting, seemingly for hours (sometimes days) on end, waiting for test results, radiology openings, Doctors, discharge info papers, etc.

I have a friend who is at this moment sitting in the ICU with her son as he recovers from a serious condition that required surgery. We don’t plan on these things happening but we can certainly plan for when they do…and if they don’t happen in your own family, you certainly know of others, like my friend, who you could bless with a visit and a Hospital Emergency Kit that would make their stay much more comfortable.

The list below is what I include in my Hospital Emergency Kit.

 Hospital Comfort Kit.

This shows most of the things in the kit. That yellow looking water is just the brown table showing through. Sorry for the blurry picture.

For the Hospital staff:

  • Insurance Card (copy of both sides)
  • List of medications and dosages that family members take regularly
  • List of Allergies to medications (Brains tend to turn to mush when any crisis hits. We simply can’t think)

For you, the person supporting the patient:

  • cell phone charger, you’ll be there longer than you think
  • notebook and pen, for noting instructions from Doctors and others, trust me, you won’t remember.
  • Small pack of tissues, for obvious reasons.
  • Single use toothbrush, or toothbrush and small toothpaste, such a mood booster to have clean teeth. (you can get the toothpaste preloaded kind from your local orthodontist)
  • Bottled water, it’s amazing how dry the air is in a hospital
  • Individual kool-aid packets to flavor the water
  • Lip balm, same reason as above
  • Hard candies/ Lifesavers
  • Chocolate, like M’n’M’s, Comfort food
  • Granola or protein bar, to stave of tummy rumbles
  • Reading material, magazines or scriptures
  • Note card with Phone numbers of church leaders, visiting or Home teachers, and temple prayer roll.
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Ibuprofen, for those stress headaches that seem inevitable when one walks through the very door of a hospital.

Updated items to add:

  • inflatable Neck Pillow (see comments below)  good for mom’s too Thanks Moone for sharing your experience.
  • Spare T-shirt (also see comment below)

For the patient:

  • A change of clothes, t-shirt and sweatpants to wear home from the hospital because in a trauma situation, the ambulance crew will have cut off the clothing that the patient was wearing. This is something that I would put on a notecard and attach to the outside of the bag so I know to grab them as I’m headed out the door.

This is a simple list that most likely you can assemble from the items in your home, if not just add these items to your grocery list to get on your next trip to the store.
Thrift stores are a great place to pick up brand new or nearly new tote bags. I’d suggest that you get one that closes at the top with a zipper or snap. You’ll discover as you read by blog, that I LOVE thrift stores. Often I find brand new items that are very useful to me in my preparedness efforts.

Can you think of anything else I missed? In your experience, what is the one thing that you wished you had or did have that made your hospital stay more comfortable? Please share in the comments below.

Comments

  1. ProSapien says:

    I am, sadly, the friend in PICU. My sweet 11-year-old boy had a ruptured appendix that brought us to the ER on Saturday night with an appendectomy early Easter morning.

    As noted above, we did not plan this trip — and certainly didn’t expect to spend the holiday weekend and spring break here. Ugh. And, yes, I just had my purse.

    This is such a smart idea. I’m just lucky enough to have a dear friend who is prepared. It has already been very helpful! I learned my lesson!

  2. ready1 says:

    I’m so glad that your cutie is doing better and that your stay was made just a bit easier by the Hospital Kit. I hope that he bounces back quickly and can get back to boy stuff… extreme pain, surgery, ICU and spending spring break in the hospital certainly doesn’t qualify as boy stuff 🙂

  3. Moone says:

    One thing I needed was a small travel size/neck pillow. For keeping a heavy toddler up all night, upright with a giant diamond bead in his nose-it would have helped to hold up his huge noggin with something other than my sore arms. I’m sure it would have been used for many situations!

    • ready1 says:

      What a great idea, borne from experience. The fuzzy inflatable kind of neck pillow, the kind you take on airplanes, would work great. I am so sorry that you had that experience.
      It reminds me of another thing that would have been helpful…a spare t-shirt, and maybe a small towel. I had a toddler, I think he was about 2.5 years old at the time. He was having horrible abdominal pain and when we got to the hospital waiting room, he vomited all over me, I was covered, and we all know what a fun experience that is…I looked around in desperation and found help from no one, I practically had to beg for a towel and a scrub top from the staff to change into. I’ll add these to the list.

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