EMERGENCY 101: PREPAREDNESS INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS

Infusion Medication and Oxygen Tips

  • Take your temperature if you have a fever or sweats, which could indicate infection.
  • If you have an infusion pump, keep your backup pump and all supplies in your emergency kit. Always bring backup supplies to the hospital.
  • If you have a central IV line (catheter), keep your site cleaning and dressing supplies with you when you’re away from home or if you need to leave home for an emergency. Supplies include gloves, mask, alcohol pads, dressings and tape.
  • Power outages are dangerous for those on infusion medication and those who use oxygen. Contact your power company about your health condition so it lists you as high priority in a power outage. Work with your health provider to complete/submit paperwork to ensure your power stays on in an outage.
  • Consider investing in a generator and learn how to use it.
  • Set aside a small portable cooler and freeze some large ice packs to keep your epoprostenol (Flolan) cool for several hours. Make sure your cooler holds several ice packs and your medicine. In case of a power outage, fill a cooler with ice to keep your epoprostenol cold. [This applies only to Flolan or generic epoprostenol, not to Veletri or treprostinil (generic or branded Remodulin).]
  • Keep a copy of your oxygen prescription/dosage in your medicine bag.
  • Pack a bag with batteries and supplies you would need if you have to leave home. Include an extra section of oxygen tubing connectors.

Readiness Checklist

☐  I keep a current list of emergency contact information including a health care provider and personal caregiver.
☐  I maintain a current list of all my medications with doses and infusion rates.

☐  I have discussed an emergency plan with my PH provider.

☐  I let my PH center know if I have a planned vacation so it can identify the best hospital for me in case of an emergency.

☐  I keep my specialty pharmacy’s 24/7 emergency number with me.

☐  I have a three- to seven-day supply of all my medications, oxygen and supplies (including distilled water if needed), depending on how soon I can refill my prescriptions based on my insurance plan.

☐  I have my pump, inhalation device, oxygen devices and/or CPAP machine, as well as batteries and appropriate power chargers for any machines I need ready to go in case of an emergency.

☐  I have an emergency kit with backup medical supplies.

☐  I keep important devices charged, including my cell phone. I always carry a cell phone and/or let people know where I am going if I am traveling alone.

☐  I wear a medic alert identifier to convey critical health information.

☐  For oxygen and/or infusion medication users: I have completed a power saving or sustaining form with my health care provider and submitted it to my power company.

Additional Information

Use the Emergency Checklist in PHA’s Empowered Patient Online Toolkit to prepare for an emergency:
www.PHAssociation.org/OnlineToolkit

For additional tips, visit www.PHAssociation.org/Patients/EmergencySituations