Knowing Yourself Could SAVE Your Life

bright cardiac cardiology care

Hi! Welcome Back to Michelle on Your Side. I’m really excited to continue this series on How Safe are You in the Hospital? This week we are going to talk about what you need to do in your everyday life that will make a difference if you are ever hospitalized.

ambulance architecture building business

Let’s start before we get to the hospital if we may.  Everyone needs to have their medical history in writing. Everyone? but I’m not sick, I don’t have a significant medical history.  Why do I need to write a history, I can remember the few things I’ve had done?  This is to prepare for the worst case scenario. What if for some reason you can’t tell those caring for you what is in your history? Or maybe you are just really nervous and leave out something major. Have your medical history in writing and keep it updated as necessary.people in front of macbook pro

Let’s be honest. MOST people do have a medical history and although you may not think it is important, the doctors and nurses that are caring for you in an emergency might just find it literally life saving! It would include surgeries, illnesses, allergies.

I’ve had a patient tell me he had “no medical history” but upon physical assessment I noticed a scar going down his chest. I asked him what the scar down his chest was from, “Oh, I had heart surgery when I has a teenager” Ummmmm, that is significant. It is important that you give us all the information you that you can to allow us to save your life. Don’t think anything is insignificant and we don’t need to know. selfcare

Next, be specific. Don’t tell us you have heart problem. There are a LOT of different heart problems, do you want us to guess which one you have? Or do you want to wait until all of the tests come back to tell us?  (I’m using heart problem as an example because it is the most dangerous, common and varied) 

adult care cure doctor

In order for you to be specific about what kind of medical problem you must have a conversation with your primary doctor. You have to understand what he/she is saying to you. If he is speaking “medicalese” ask him to clarify in a way that you understand. You have to know your diagnosis. You don’t have to know how to say it, you may not understand fully what it means but just having the diagnosis in writing might save your life.

I have reviewed  several medical history forms/binders and this one of my favorite sites for a printable medical binder is

Finally, be honest with us about your medical history. We have heard worse. Whatever is in your history, we are not here to judge you, we are here to help you. But we can not help you if you are not honest with us.i will take care of you


Yes, I am asking you to write things down. When we get to the actual hospital visit I will talk in depth about this, but for right now, take a few minutes,  sit down and write out your medical history.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I hope you picked up a couple ideas you can implement in your life.

Talk to you later!

Michelle on Your Side



13 thoughts on “Knowing Yourself Could SAVE Your Life

  1. This is so handy! My parents are getting older, and I’m finding this to be especially relevant for me to have their medical histories when I take them in to see a doctor. They are pretty good about leaving things out, so I always try to be prepared with anything that has happened medically for them. Thanks for the info!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, you’re right – we’re so depended on doctors and nurses just “knowing” what’s wrong with us. But at some point we need to share with them as much information as possible for them to help us better. Thanks for the great information Michelle!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is so true! I have never thought about it before as my mom works in a hospital and taught me to remember all important diseases not only mine but also of other family members like parents and grandparents. However, many people aren’t aware of the importance of this information. Really appreciate this post, thank you 🙂


  4. Great advice. I’m pretty good about mine and my Dr’s office has an online portal which gives access to all of my test results, notes from the Dr. etc. Of course, it only goes back to as far as it was created, so I have to know all my previous information.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post! I’ve been in EMS for 30 years as an EMT. Having three pieces of information is essential when we get there. You will here EMT’s Nationwide ask for the information almost consistently in the same pattern in what is called the SAMPLE history – Allergies(to medicine), Medications (important for drug interactions and if you are on a blood thinner), Past History. In an emergency, and with older folks who may have varying degrees of memory deficit, it is difficult to get this information. In my town the ambulance corps gives a free “File of Life) to anyone who asks for it. This is a medical history form with all that information plus more that folds up to the size of an index card and is placed on a magnetized sleeve that people keep on their fridge. As you said the important thing is to then keep it updated.


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