Grundy County Memorial Hospital | Live Well | Fall 2021

3 Did you know that you can help prepare for an emergency by keeping a record of your medical history, along with a list of the medications you take? An up-to- date medication and supplement list is helpful when you visit your medical provider too. “An accurate medical history and medication list is an important tool for those who are caring for you in an emergency,” says Sara Hook, RN, GCMH Emergency Department Clinical Lead. “It can save valuable time in providing treatment in the ER, especially when our patient is not able to communicate with us or recall what medications they take.” Hook notes that in an emergency, even close family members have dif- ficulty remembering medical conditions or prescriptions for their loved ones. “When an ambulance crew member or family member hands our nursing team a medication list, valuable time may be saved,” she explains. GCMH has created a Medication Matters form to encourage more people to be prepared for an emergency. It’s recommended to update your medical history at least once each year. The form is free and available to print out from medication-matters.aspx , or you may stop by the hospital to pick up the form. Last year, the safety measures we took to fight COVID-19 may also have contributed to a very mild flu season. And that was a welcome dose of good news in a difficult time. But now that masks are off in public places and many people are meeting up again, it’s vital for you and your family to get your flu shots this year, as well as the COVID-19 vaccine, if you haven’t already. The flu and you The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends flu shots for almost everyone 6 months and older. Flu shots are especially important for people at high risk of getting very sick, including: ● People 65 and older. ● People with certain chronic conditions, such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease. ● Pregnant women. ● Young children, especially those under 2 years. ● People from racial and ethnic minority groups. ● People with disabilities, especially those that affect muscle or lung function or that make it difficult to cough or swallow. Most people should get their flu shot in September or Oc- tober, CDC says. That’s before the flu starts spreading in most places. But it’s also late enough to last through the worst of the flu season. Children 6 months to 8 years old who have not had a flu shot before need two doses given at least four weeks apart. They should get an early start so they can get the second dose by the end of October. Get your COVID-19 shots too If you’ve yet to get a COVID-19 vaccine, there are good reasons to include it in your “stay well” plan too. The vaccines are safe and very good at protecting people from COVID-19. Plus, once you’re fully vaccinated, you can start doing more, like getting together with friends and attending large public events. CDC recommends that most people 12 and older be vacci- nated against COVID-19. And it’s now OK to get other shots at the same time. So ask your provider about getting up-to-date on all the shots your family needs. If you need a convenient reference for the various symp- toms of COVID-19, influenza, and the common cold or allergies, check out the handy chart available to download at . BE PREPARED! Medications and health history matter in an emergency. Complete a Medication Matters form—available at the hospital and online at medication-matters.aspx . Medication Matters: Be prepared in an emergency Make a plan now to prevent flu and COVID-19