If you have read my biographical information you might have noticed that I am a paramedic. What does that have to do with camping? Well, imagine this, you are out camping and are allergic to bee stings. Your wife is out hiking with the kids while you stay back at camp to relax. Then it happens — that can of “beverage” you are drinking out of has a bee drinking out of it too. After the brief battle, the score is bees 1 and you nothing! Now you need help and badly!
But even if you can talk to the dispatcher to give directions, who is going to talk for you when the paramedics (like me) arrive? What if, instead of an allergic reaction, you have an asthma attack or any other problem that impairs your ability to communicate? What if you flat out get so flustered and worried about an illness that you forget you are allergic to the very medicine they want to give you?
I would love to see everyone carry a simple information sheet that would include your Name, Date of Birth, and Address, Phone number, Medications, Allergies and past medical history. Even a simple, type-written piece of paper would be helpful. You could even do it on your computer! Imagine that, using your computer for something useful instead of a way to just entertain you by reading RV forums! Making one small enough to fit in your wallet or purse would be a great idea too!
But there is often an easier way and EVEN FREE, (my kids say I am a sucker for anything Free!). If you go to your local Hospital, I would almost guarantee they will have either a “Vial of Life” or a “File of Life”. Both of these are Pre-made kits. The “Vial of Life” is a big pill bottle that goes in your Freezer with the enclosed list of information. The “File of Life” is a magnetic folder that goes on your fridge. Each person should have one for home and one for the camper and tow vehicle. Just make sure you have one with you on any long trip, camping or not. Then you will have something to speak for you when you might need it most.
Above is a picture of a “File of Life” provided by Clarion Hospital for free to those who come in and ask. Please don’t write and ask for one if you live in say . . . Texas! However, contact your local hospital for information of what they provide.
The above pictures might give you some ideas as to how to set up your own form. Remember the more information the better, but try to keep it in a organized manner. Now Everyone will know your name and more importantly how to help treat you in an emergency.
Your Obedient Servant,
Gary Smith, Jr.