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What to Bring to a Hospital, Emergency Room, or Crisis Program

Part of the Schizophrenia For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Part of living with someone who has schizophrenia means being prepared for emergencies. If a crisis occurs involving your loved one with schizophrenia, make sure you have the following items and information on hand to take to an emergency facility:

  • A photo ID with your loved one's name and place of residence.

  • Your loved one's Social Security card or Social Security number.

  • Your loved one's Medicaid or Medicare card, and/or other proof of health insurance coverage.

  • A brown bag with your loved one's medication vials or a list of all the medications (psychiatric and other) she takes, including names and dosages.

  • A list of any adverse side effects to medication your loved one has experienced in the past.

  • Information about known allergies or physical health problems.

  • Names and contact information for your loved one's psychiatrist, case manager, and any other clinicians or programs involved in his outpatient care.

  • The names and phone numbers of any friends or relatives your loved one would want contacted.

  • A letter signed by your loved one providing permission for clinical staff to discuss his care with family or friends he designates. (The hospital may have a form available for this purpose.)

Make sure your loved one doesn't bring any valuables (cash, jewelry, and so on); some hospitals will allow him to keep his cellphone. Also, make sure he doesn't bring any knives, belts, or other things that might be considered dangerous and be taken away.

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