Section 7: Going To the ER By Yourself
The only thing I can think of worse than going to the doctor by yourself is going to the emergency room by yourself. If you do have to go to the ER in college for food allergies or asthma, just remember you are not alone (there are probably at least 5 other kids from your school there too). Here are some tips to follow if you find yourself stuck in the ER:
- As soon as you or your nurse gets a chance, contact your parents and let them know what is going on. Even if you feel like you may have done something stupid, it is important to keep them updated, it is only fair. If you are under 18, they can talk to the hospital personnel. If you are over 18, you hopefully have a copy of your health care power of attorney on your phone, or can have your parents fax it. If the hospital is part of the health system where you see your doctor, your health care power of attorney should be on file.
- If you have a Care Everywhere ID, give that to the emergency room personnel. It is important that they know your medical conditions and don't just think you are a drunk college student (vomiting can be a reaction to too much alcohol or a food allergy.)
- If you have to spend the night, ask a friend to bring you some pjs and toiletries if they can. Your own things will make you feel less nervous. If your friend can stay with you, that will make your parents less nervous.
- Upon discharge from the ER, find the pay window to pay your copay for your visit. If you rode on an ambulance to the ER, that is billed separately.
- If you used your auto-injector, ask the doctor for a refill and fill it in the hospital's pharmacy if it is open, or take it to your pharmacy immediately.
- Make a follow-up visit with your allergist ASAP to review the reaction and see if any of your treatment needs to be changed.