Tracking the Tropics
First Aid Facts
Sometimes being prepared for a storm means being prepared for medical emergencies. 7's Diana Diaz has the first aid facts.
WSVN -- It happens before and after a storm.
People rush to the hospital with medical emergencies!
Dr. Randy Katz, Medical Director, Memorial Regional Emergency Services: "It gets extremely busy, extremely quickly. Usually people falling from heights, people trying to get things from trees, injuries from stepping on nails and stepping on debris."
Emergency room doctors at Memorial Regional not only beef up their staff before a storm, they stock up on extra medicines and equipment. Officials say you should do the same.
Dr. Randy Katz: "Preparation is the key beforehand. Patients that have chronic medical conditions like emphysema, diabetes, those patients should have at least two weeks of medications available to them, and people that are on oxygen should have at least two weeks of oxygen."
If you have a serious medical problem, or you're pregnant, the hospital might be the best place to ride out the storm.
Dr. Randy Katz: "If you're 35 weeks or above, you should be in a hospital setting should you go into labor. The last thing you want is to be at home delivering a child in the middle of a hurricane."
Keep in mind, hospitals are not shelters.
Dr. Randy Katz: "After the storm, don't come to the hospital for minor cuts and bruises. There are people with serious injuries and limited resources."
Diana Diaz: "It's important to put together a good first aid kit, in case you can't get to the doctor or emergency crews can't get to you."
Dr. Micheyle Goldman, Pediatric ER, Memorial Hospital West: "I keep mine here in this linen closet. I keep it up high to protect it from getting wet, but also to keep it away from the young children in my home."
Dr. Micheyle Goldman is pediatric emergency doctor, who invited us into her home to show us the necessities in her personal first aid kit.
Dr. Micheyle Goldman: "We tend to think about all the possibilities, and all of the scenarios, because we see them every day."
Inside her water-proof box is everything needed to care for a minor injury-- from band-aids to ace wraps and ice packs.
Dr. Micheyle Goldman: "This is one of the instant packs, you just crush it and then it's ready to go."
Even an item most of us wouldn't think about...
Dr. Micheyle Goldman: "I have slings, one for adults and one for a child."
Just as important, medicines to clean wounds and prevent infections.
Dr. Micheyle Goldman: "I have anti-septics in my kit, so I have hydrogen peroxide, I also have Betadine. If you get a cut, and it gets dirty, you want to wash it off real quick so you don't get an infection. Before you put on your bandages, you want to put on antibiotic cream."
Don't forget gauze to wrap wounds and tape.
She also stocks up on over-the-counter pain medicine, such as Tylenol and ibuprofen.
Dr. Micheyle Goldman: "Nice to have those on hand in case of a headache or just a minor. Since I do have children in my home, I also keep the children's version as well, the liquid form."
Other must-haves are sunscreen, Solarcaine for sunburns and mosquito repellent.
Dr. Micheyle Goldman: "After the storm, there's lots of water and free standing water leads to bugs and insects."
Right before a storm hits, Dr. Goldman gets all the family's medications refilled and puts them into the emergency kit for safety.
She also has one extra reminder for patients with medical devices in their home.
Dr. Micheyle Goldman: "You need extra batteries, if anyone is using a portable medical device such as an oxygen tank or a nebulizer for asthma."
Having a good medical plan can save your life.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Memorial Regional Hospital
3501 Johnson Street Hollywood, FL 33021
Memorial Hospital West
703 North Flamingo Road Pembroke Pines, FL 33028
If you suffer from a chronic medical condition, you should be registered at a special needs shelter. Pre-register through the county ahead of time by going to www.broward.org or www.miamidade.gov
If you plan on going to a Special Medical Needs Shelter, pre-registration is encouraged. To pre-register, call Broward County Human Services Department at 954-357-6385 (TTY 954-357-5608) or complete the registration form online.
Vulnerable Population Registry. This registry allows people who are disabled, frail or have health issues to register in advance with their city so that emergency workers may plan a better response to vulnerable residents in a recovery effort following a hurricane or other emergency. For more information or to register, call 3-1-1 or 954-831-4000.
Pre-register for evacuation transportation, if you think you may need it. To pre-register, call Broward County Human Services Department at 954-357-6385 (TTY 954-357-5608) or complete the registration form online.
You can register with MDFR be obtained by contacting 3-1-1 or 305-513-7700; or 888-311-DADE or 305-468-5402 (TDD/TTY); or they can also be downloaded from the website.
Residents who are home-bound, need assistance with daily living, have electrically dependent needs or require specialized transportation and will need help evacuating from a hurricane, should register for the Miami-Dade County Emergency Evacuation Assistance Program.