Fire EMS, Firefighter Training, Firefighting

Family Member Medical Crisis: How Would You Respond?

Issue 12 and Volume 166.

BY PETER BRYAN What would you do if your spouse, significant other, or other immediate family member suffered a life-threatening, near-death, or critical illness? Do you know how to respond to the many repetitive medical questions and forms? Do you know what medical information and tests, especially inpatient records, are necessary and critical? This “emergency” is significantly different from responding to a public crisis. It is YOUR crisis. Know what to do ahead of time. Prepare for it as you would for an incident response. Following is my experience and the lessons I learned over a three-year period. In 2010, my wife, the mother of our children, developed several sudden, onset, and seemingly unrelated medical emergencies that often necessitated paramedic response, transportation, and inpatient and emergency department care. Diagnosis and effective inpatient treatment were not successful to the “90th percentile” (a common fire service concept), and getting the treating physicians’…

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