Thursday, January 13, 2011

But what about medication?

I recently learned about a situation where someone went in for a spinal tap in order to get symptoms diagnosed. After waiting the designated time period for the results, an appointment was made so that there could be an analysis made about the findings from the spinal tap. The person received a call the day before the appointment and was told that the appointment was cancelled, due to the fact that there could be no analysis made on the spinal tap because there were no test kits available.

Well, one might reasonably say, send elsewhere for the test kit. Another lab, perhaps. This person was told there were no kits available at another lab. In fact, there were no other kits available throughout the person's state.

In fact, there were no kits available in the entire country.

This hits me as wrong on many levels, not the least of which is that the person in question had to undergo a spinal tap when there was no way that it was going to be analyzed. (Which begs the question as to why it had to be done at all, if there was no benefit to be had...) But the person relating the particulars of the situation to me said that in many cases, the U.S. as a nation is dependent on other countries for many of our medications, and that many people who need such medications would find themselves in trouble if we were to be cut off from our sources for any reason. It was pointed out during the course of our conversation that in terms of emergency preparedness, people who need medications would be wise to stock up as much as possible to avoid problems in emergency situations.

I was thinking also that it would be at the very least inconvenient if something like Tylenol (or insert your preferred pain reliever here) were unavailable for minor pain issues before, during, and/or after an emergency situation. When you are preparing, you might want to take medical supplies into consideration, whether it be what would be needed if the emergency involved injuries, or whether it is regular medication that might not be immediately available when a crisis occurs. For example, if you have a regular prescription, you may want to refill it as soon as allowed so that you have as much on hand as possible. If you are allowed to fill it a week before it is due to run out, it would be wise to do so. To find out what is allowed you could talk to your pharmacist. It can't hurt to ask your doctor if you can keep a supply on hand...

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