When you’re sick or injured, no matter the severity, can feel like a matter of life and death. But being prepared and knowing what does and doesn’t merit a trip to the Emergency Room can save you a lot of time, money, and stress.

An emergency is life-threatening and requires immediate care. Call 911. Be sure to bring along identification, insurance cards, and medication and health history information.

Examples of an Emergency:

  • Not breathing/having difficulty breathing
  • Choking – unable to dislodge item
  • Heart attack or stroke
  • Broken bones
  • Severe bleeding or burns
  • Shock
Situations for Routine/Self-care at Home:

  • Minor cuts and sprains
  • Fever of 102° F or below
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Upper respiratory infection
  • Common neck and back pain

Your Home Emergency Kit:

  • Assorted bandages
  • Sterile gauze pads and tape
  • Moleskin
  • Thermometer
  • Tweezers
  • Moist towelettes
  • List of emergency numbers
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Nasal bulb syringe
  • Scissors
  • Elastic wrap
Over-the-counter Aids:

  • Pain and fever medications (ibuprofen/acetaminophen)
  • Antacids
  • Antibacterial ointments
  • Decongestants
  • Antihistamines (avoid if pregnant)
  • Sunblock
  • Anti-itch products
  • Anti-diarrheal products
Be Prepared for Emergencies:

  • Learn CPR and first aid
  • Keep first aid book or card handy
  • Have emergency numbers posted
  • Know the location of the closest emergency facilities
  • Understand your insurance policy
  • Have medical history available
  • Carry ID and insurance cards at all times