Your prenatal record should be accessible to any healthcare provider you encounter throughout your pregnancy.
Furthermore, expectant moms must be offered the support and necessary medical information so they can work collaboratively with their provider to have a safe and fulfilling pregnancy experience.
Your Prenatal Record
Not infrequently, immediate access to your prenatal record may be necessary for:
- medical consults
- emergent medical care requiring information only available in your prenatal record
If you do not have a copy of your prenatal record and are in need of urgent medical care, the treating clinician is limited in his/her ability to offer you the most appropriate medical treatment.
In fact, in addition to your prenatal record, you should have the phone numbers for all your health care providers readily available.
At all times, prenatal patients should maintain and carry on them, the basic information about their prenatal course. A healthcare provider needs to know this information to make the best medical decisions.
It is interesting to note that individuals who do not have private health care insurance (health care clinics, teen pregnancy programs etc.) are often given this vital information on an “index card” which is updated at each prenatal visit.
This card provides essential medical information (as valuable as a diabetic bracelet or allergy bracelet)! Furthermore, individuals enrolled in such health care facilities, are frequently reminded of the value of having this card with them at all times.
As a treating clinician, I have experienced many situations where this information was crucial when it came to managing an emergent situation. When the time to make a clinical decision was limited to a matter of minutes.
Just think of how this information can help a provider who is not familiar with your prenatal course!
Simply handing this card to him/her when you arrive at an urgent care facility, be it a hospital, acute triage facility etc.. can make all the difference.
A prenatal patient should never find herself in need of urgent medical care without access to basic medical information about her prenatal care. There is only one way to avoid this situation and that is to carry a card with up-to-date medical information about your pregnancy.
Yet, it is mostly patients in medical clinics who are given these “medical record” cards. (Worst case scenario: when a pregnant patient is not conscious nor in the company of others who can offer medical information that can be life-saving.)
Offer the information in this post to your friends and family (for any medical condition not just during pregnancy). It is a very useful and simple way to safeguard your healthcare in ways that nothing else can:
Do you remember:
- your prenatal lab results
- last blood pressure, if you are experiencing high blood pressure during pregnancy
- blood sugar results if you have gestational diabetes.
If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you cannot assume anyone else will. Think of how valuable this can be to a provider you have never met during an emergency at a different medical facility. Always have a summary of your prenatal record with you. This simple step can make a huge difference!
(For more information about your prenatal record, go to Wikipedia. Though Wikipedia is an open-sourced resource, it offers a wealth of information. This being said, always review information accessed online with your prenatal care provider.)
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