Preparing for Emergencies with a One-Page Snapshot

by Amanda Upton

For us, emergencies tend to happen in the middle of the night with how my daughter Jillian’s body goes into medical crashes. Typically, we wake up to her struggling to catch her breath and we jump into action. Here are some of our steps:

  • We administer any meds we can at home to help in the emergency. For our daughter that is a nebulizer.
  • We keep a bag of extra clothes by our front entry. It is the bare minimum to get me through a few hours at the hospital. That gives me something to get me through until someone can bring more things to the hospital.
  • We have a plan for once we got to the ER depending on the type of emergency and what ER we go to. Our closest ER is not well set up for our daughter’s complex needs, but if we don’t feel it is safe to drive her the hour to our local children’s hospital, we will go there. If we go to our local children’s hospital I have a list of doctors for staff to inform that we are in the ER so they can come in and collaborate on what is best.

One-Page Emergency Snapshot

We have a one-page list of what my children’s medications and daily schedules are. We email these to the other people who spend time with our children so if an emergency occurs when our kids are away from us they have the basic information to provide to medical staff.

We also find the one-page list to be really helpful once admitted because we are able to hang it in the room. All the staff is able to reference it to double check medications and times.

Here are examples of one-page lists for both of my daughters. They include information on medications, feedings, feeding tubes and pumps, daily schedules, and other critical information.

Author: Amanda Upton • Date: 10/13/2017

About the Author

Amanda is married to Brent and has two children, Jillian and Lydia. They are both still considered undiagnosed although it is thought that there is an underlying muscle issue with a maternal genetic inheritance as Amanda has many similar symptoms, just not as severe as the girls. They both have GJ-tubes and Jillian is on oxygen and has leg braces. They are the happiest kids, and they both love making people at our local children’s hospital smile. Jillian’s favorite things revolve around pink, purple, glitter, and tutus, and she is ok with all the medical stuff as long as she can make it girly. Lydia loves smiling and cuddling. They are a big Disney family and planning trips to the parks is their stress relief.

Amanda has a degree in early childhood education in both regular and special ed and taught 4K until Jillian was two years old, when she became a stay-at-home mom to help protect Jillian’s lungs from germs. They rely on their faith, friends, and family to get them through the hard aspects of being a medically complex family. Her blog can be found at

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