Preparing for a medical emergency

Lupus Foundation of America

Resource Content

A medical emergency is a situation that poses a serious health risk and requires immediate help. People with lupus sometimes develop life-threatening complications. You should be aware of symptoms that require your loved one to see the doctor immediately. Also, be sure you know what to do if your loved one needs immediate medical attention. Here are some strategies that—if needed—can help you respond quickly and decisively.

  • You should have easy access to your loved one’s personal and medical information, and this information needs to be kept up-to-date. Download our care file (pdf) for an example of how you can keep this information organized.
  • Keep emergency contacts in your cell phone contact list and keep a copy of these contacts in a place where others can easily get to it.
  • Keep an emergency medical ID card, as well as health insurance and Medicare identification cards, in your loved one’s wallet or purse—and keep copies of these in yours. It could also be helpful to keep a card with emergency contacts listed. 
  • Know the location and quickest way to the nearest hospital emergency room.
  • If you suspect the situation is life-threatening, call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • If your loved one lives alone, consider a medical alert device. These devices are often wearable and normally include a button that alerts a central service and emergency staff when the wearer is having a medical emergency.