A medical history is often essential in the care of a patient. Failure to have adequate information can result in all sorts of problems. This can be a particular problem when dealing with a patient in the Emergency Room.



(1) failure to receive an essential medication

(2) withdrawal reaction

(3) history of toxic exposure

(4) history of trauma

(5) history of allergies

(6) relapse of pre-existing condition

(7) failure to recognize a complication of a condition

(8) failure to get informed consent (religious beliefs, unwanted care, etc)


People at risk:

(1) unconscious

(2) inability to communicate (incoherent, foreign language, etc)

(3) unwillingness to communicate (criminal, psychiatric disorder, etc)


Sources of patient information if the patient is unable to provide it:

(1) family and friends

(2) medical record

(3) health bracelet or card


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