How to be prepared for an emergency

For people or loved ones with a bleeding disorder, trips to the emergency room may be necessary. Advance preparation can make a trip to the ER as smooth as possible.1

What you can do now

One of the first things you can do is obtain and wear a medical ID bracelet and carry a wallet card. These 2 things could save your life in the event that you are hurt and unable to speak.1

In addition, people with a bleeding disorder and their caregivers can:

  • Learn how to recognize the signs of the type of injury or bleed that might require a trip to the ER2
  • Pack an ER bag with everything you might need. Your bag should include1,3:
    • A folder with all relevant health information (letter from physician, a description of your bleeding disorder, your insurance information, a list of all medications you are taking/prescribed, any allergies)
    • Treatment and supplies
    • Have your ER bag ready to go at all times
  • Keep an ER checklist posted in a prominent place for last-minute checks1

Advance preparation of your family and your ER can make visits less stressful on everyone.

Know your ER

Selecting an ER is another important way to prepare. Here are some tips that can help1:

  • Find the ER most familiar with treating bleeding disorders if there is more than one
  • Ask your healthcare provider (HCP) which facility is commonly used by people with a bleeding disorder
  • Schedule a pre-emergency appointment with ER physicians and staff to provide them with information about bleeding disorder treatments
  • Request additional materials for managing a bleeding disorder and emergencies from your treatment center nurse

“I always say to emergency room staff, listen to the patient, because they often know more about their disease state than the people treating them.“ — Lisa, Takeda clinical specialist

Emergency treatment supply

To prepare for an emergency such as a natural disaster (eg, hurricane) where your treatment supply may be limited for a short period of time, the Medical and Scientific Advisory Council (MASAC) recommends that patients with severe and moderately severe bleeding disorders keep 7 extra doses of factor treatment at home.4 It is also a good idea to keep the phone number of the local National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF) chapter handy so you can contact them for additional services and information.

With all of this preparation for bleeding disorder emergencies complete, you and your family can feel calm and confident when the need for an ER visit does arise.

3 things to do in an emergency.
    Do these 3 in an emergency
  • Double-check your ER checklist before you go1
  • Grab your ER bag1,3
  • Proceed to the ER1

Keep your joints happy

How you respond to bleeds can contribute to the level of pain you experience in your joints.

Learn how

Do you know where your HTC is?

Hemophilia Treatment Centers (HTCs) provide a range of education and support services.

Find yours

Have better conversations

Be prepared with questions so you can have better conversations with your healthcare provider.

Get talk tips
  1. Canadian Hemophilia Society. The emergency room: prepare to succeed. https://www.hemophilia.ca/files/er2.pdf. Accessed August 22, 2019.
  2. Identifying types of bleeds. Steps for Living website. https://stepsforliving.hemophilia.org/basics-of-bleeding-disorders/identifying-types-of-bleeds. Accessed August 22, 2019.
  3. Emergency preparedness. Steps for Living website. https://stepsforliving.hemophilia.org/step-up/treatment/emergency-preparedness. Accessed August 22, 2019.
  4. National Hemophilia Foundation. MASAC recommendation regarding home factor supply for emergency preparedness for patients with hemophilia and other bleeding disorders. https://www.hemophilia.org/sites/default/files/document/files/masac-227.pdf. Published 2014. Accessed August 22, 2019.