Do You Carry a Meds List?

Just curious.

I have a meds list that I usually carry in my wallet.  But due to some stuff we did the other day that I did not want my purse for, I removed the list and shoved it in my pocket – so that I’d have it with me in case of emergency.

Well, yesterday we had to run a quick errand, and I had forgotten to return my meds list to my wallet.  It’s happened before; no big deal.  Except that we were in a wreck on our way home.

I really wished I had my typed meds list.  First medic started writing down all my drugs, but got called to help with someone in the other vehicle.  His list disappeared with him, and later I had to start all over with a second medic, who also got called away.

I repeated the list again in the ambulance, but am not sure what happened to that list because when we got to the hospital, I had to repeat the list all over again – in the entrance with a zillion people all around.  And let me tell you, although a cervical collar is designed to immobilize the neck, it does a pretty good job of immobilizing the chin, too.  Which makes it pretty difficult to speak.

Then the doctor asked about medical conditions or drugs (all of this information is neatly typed on my hand-dandy ICE card, back at home, in my jeans pocket, where it is doing me not one bit of good).

Much later the triage/admission person came to see me with her portible computer. She entered ibuprofen 800 instead of feldene 20 – and I have NO idea how that happened since I never said anything about ibu.  She never entered the next two drugs at all, and when she couldn’t find “sulfasalazine” on their list, said, “I’ll let your nurse get this info.”

But the nurse never asked about meds — probably assumed that since something had been entered, it was accurate.  And at shift change, the new nurse never asked about meds.

When I finally got released to go home (I’m okay, just really sore), the discharge instructions said to take ibuprofen and tylenol for pain (they offered narcotic pain killers, but I won’t take those ever again).  That’s when I found out that even though I had endured six spelling tests on all these drugs, that information never made it into the hospital computer.

Would it have mattered if I’d been able to hand every person a printed list?  Should I carry ten copies of the list so that if (God forbid) this ever happens again, every person who asks about daily meds can be given their own private copy to lose?

I’ve assumed that I don’t need a medic alert bracelet.  Wouldn’t a doctor who prescribes all those drugs tell me if I needed that ID?  I was coherent enough to respond, but what if I hadn’t been?  I’m not on pred, but if I were, it would have been really important for them to know right away.

So, I’m curious.  Do you carry a meds list?  Or wear a medic alert bracelet?  How do you handle this?



3 thoughts on “Do You Carry a Meds List?

  1. I don’t carry a meds list. I don’t carry one because of my previous surgery experiences, in which I gave (typed out) a meds list to the pre-admissions nurses, who dutifully wrote them all down.

    Well, after my surgeries, I needed to take a few of the meds (including one that would have given me seizures had I suddenly stopped taking it). However, the hospitals took no notice of the meds either time. And when I requested them, they said they would have to call the drs. to get permission. I was like, wth?

    So I told them to forget about it, and I sent my husband home to get me my meds.

    I figure that if hospitals can’t get that whole process correct with non-emergent surgeries, there’s no way they’re going to get it right with emergent situations. Sad.

  2. I have to admit that the ONLY reason I have a typed list in my purse is that it’s my repeat prescription form … all the meds I take are on repeat prescription, and when I pick up one lot I get a new form and stick it straight in my purse. It would be a nightmare in hospital though, here in the UK, because 1) the hospital wouldn’t prescribe because it’s not part of their budget (I’m guessing) and 2) I’d have to give them my meds and rely on them giving them back to me at the right time … and I wouldn’t trust them to get it right!!

  3. I do carry a list of medicines and surgeries. I think since I have had so many of both, I want to make sure I remember as well as have the info available in an emergency.

    I’m glad you are doing ok now. How scary!

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