What Is an Emergency Care Plan?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Paramedics must be informed about allergies and current medications taken by the patient, because this information could have an impact on the treatments they are able to provide.
Paramedics must be informed about allergies and current medications taken by the patient, because this information could have an impact on the treatments they are able to provide.

An emergency care plan details what to do in a crisis so responders know how to proceed. It can be developed for a specific facility or a particular person. Having clear instructions can make a critical difference in emergencies by providing immediate guidance on how to be most effective and helpful. This can increase the chance that a patient survives to get more advanced treatment. Schools, gyms, and athletic facilities may have such plans and people can also develop them on their own.

Facility plans address common types of emergencies that may emerge and how to handle them. The emergency care plan can include first aid directions and instructions on who to call. If someone is injured on the sports field, for example, the plan might dictate leaving the athlete in place if there’s a risk of spinal injury and waiting for paramedics on site. Otherwise, people might be removed to a quiet, calm environment for first aid while help is summoned.

Individuals with specific health conditions may have an emergency care plan. For students with disabilities, this is sometimes part of the individualized education plan used by teachers, aides, and other school staff. The care plan gives basic information like name, age, gender, and diagnosis along with a list of current medications and known allergies. It can explain what people should do in an emergency while they wait for help.

For example, if a child has a bee allergy, the emergency care plan can provide instructions on how to use an autoinjector to give the child a shot of epinephrine. The document might also talk about how to keep the airway clear, and tricks that could keep the child calm while waiting for an ambulance. These directions can accompany the student at all times to ensure that people in the area will know what to do if the child is stung. For older children, the instructions might indicate that the child can personally administer the injection and has received training in how to do so.

In addition to its usefulness for laypeople who may be on scene in a crisis, an emergency care plan can help first responders. Paramedics and other personnel need to know about allergies and current medications because these could have an impact on the treatments they provide. If someone had a bad reaction to a standard heart medication, for example, the medical team can avoid it during resuscitation attempts.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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    • Paramedics must be informed about allergies and current medications taken by the patient, because this information could have an impact on the treatments they are able to provide.
      By: corepics
      Paramedics must be informed about allergies and current medications taken by the patient, because this information could have an impact on the treatments they are able to provide.