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ER Guidelines


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mtlieb Find out more about mtlieb
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  • ER Guidelines

    Hi All,

    While i was in the emergency room last week for my first HCM-related visit, it came to my attention that there were things that i should make the ER staff aware of, but i just couldn't think of them. I did remember that i shouldn't have nitro, but for the life of me i couldn't tell them why. What are some of the things us HCM'ers need to watch out for in an ER?


    "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."

  • #2
    Re: ER Guidelines

    Gosh, Jim. I know what you mean. Now that you've put me on the spot I can't remember either! I'll get back with you, as will others, I'm sure.


    PS, on my husband's Medicalert bracelet he has No MRI, but he has an ICD.

    Husband has HCM.
    3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.


    • #3
      Re: ER Guidelines

      The reason for no nitro on most HCMers is because of its vasodialating properties. It can make symptoms worse.

      But as always everyone is different as with me since I have itsy bitsy arteries it actually does work for me sometimes. But I am different than most.

      As far as ER guidelines I have been told that once my pain gets to the point that it is unbearable I should go there for pain management. Also, since I've had bouts of CHF if I have difficulty in breathing and feel extremely congested. I also experience the opposite with dehydration because of Chron's disease if I start cramping and getting skipped beats I should go.

      So there are so many different reasons to go to the ER. I think in the end if you feel you need to go then go only you know your body and how it acts!

      Mary S.


      • #4
        Re: ER Guidelines

        I have a Medic Alert and that eases my mind a lot.

        As for what ER staff/paramedics need to know...

        all of your medications and doses
        especially Coumadin (warfarin) or Tikosyn (dofetilide)

        if you are allergic to any medicine or latex

        your official diagnosis and if you are in atrial fibrillation or have other arrhythmias

        if you have had a stroke, heart attack or a history of fainting or an ICD/pacemaker.

        I typed up a two page document that lists my insurance, my next of kin, my current medications and doses and a summary of my medical event (date, event, symptoms, resolution eg 1/15/03 Hospitalized for chest pain. Given metoprolol and released.; 3/3/00 Lithotripsy, successfully passed gravel.) Then at the end I have a short family history (they LOVE this) that lists grandparents, parents, and siblings and their year of birth (and death when applicable), cause of death, and any major illnesses like osteoporosis or cancer. (eg Maternal Grandmother, 1920, deaf, osteoporsis; Maternal Grandfather, 1918-1960, CHF, enlarged heart).

        I print out a copy of this and take it with me to every ER visit.