Why do I use red ink for Allergies on a Health Care Directive?

Allergies on a Health Care Directive
Allergies on a Health Care Directive

Allergies on a Health Care Directive

Did you put allergies on a health care directive? Can you even find the section for allergies? If you are unsure or need help addressing allergies, then consider the following.

Health Care Directives in General

Health care directives are crucial documents that outline your medical wishes in case you become unable to communicate them yourself. They provide guidance to medical professionals and loved ones regarding treatments you do or do not want.

Covering scenarios like life support, resuscitation, and organ donation, these directives ensure your wishes are honored. By creating one, you retain control over your medical care, even in challenging circumstances, offering peace of mind to both you and your family.

What Is an Allergy?

Of course, you already know your own allergies, but in case you do not. An allergy is an exaggerated immune system response to a harmless substance, known as an allergen.

Symptoms range from death to mild or severe. Mild and severe allergic reactions can include sneezing, itching, hives, swelling, and in severe cases, anaphylaxis, and loss of bodily function.

Allergies can affect various parts of the body and are commonly triggered by pollen, food, medications, or insect stings.

Which Allergies On a Health Care Directive Should You List?

All allergies, big and small, should be listed on your health care directive. This includes:

  • Drug allergies,
  • Food allergies,
  • Botanical allergies,
  • Pet allergies, and
  • Any other allergy known or expected.

Use Red Ink On Your Health Directives

The reason I use red ink to identify allergies is obvious:  I want everybody and anybody caring for my health to know about my allergies.

Look, lets not make this hard.  When times get difficult, everybody must know about your allergy.

Using red ink to make a point on paper can enhance visibility and draw attention due to its strong contrast against most backgrounds. Additionally, red is often associated with importance, urgency, or emphasis, making it an effective choice for highlighting key information or critical details in documents or presentations.

Thus, print allergies on a health care directive in red ink.

No Known Allergies?

Knowing that you do not have any known allergies is just as important as declaring your allergies.

Expressing your feedback to an EMT through a Health Care Directive is crucial for safe and effective medical care. Allergies can influence treatment decisions, medication prescriptions, and potential adverse reactions.

Providing accurate information ensures your doctor can tailor treatment plans to your specific needs, minimizing risks and optimizing health outcomes.

In other words, if there are no known allergies, then the section devoted to allergies should be clearly state “no known allergies”.  Also, do not get fancy by using an acronym.  Health care professionals do not have time to decode your health care directive when a medical emergency takes place.

Healthcare Directive Doesn’t Have Room for Allergies

If it doesn’t have a section, make a section.  Running out of room is a horrible excuse for declaring specific issues regarding our health.  As a result, I am not going to entertain this any further.

Allergies on a Health Care Directive: Wear a Bracelet

If you wear a bracelet or another document that contradicts your health care directive, then more problems can develop.  

Wearing a bracelet declaring your allergy is a proactive safety measure.

In emergencies, it alerts medical professionals and bystanders to your condition, ensuring appropriate treatment and potentially preventing serious reactions. It serves as a constant reminder to take precautions and empowers you to navigate daily life with confidence and peace of mind.

Should You Update Your Health Care Directive?

Regularly updating your health care directive is vital as your health evolves. Changes in medical conditions, treatments, or personal preferences may render previous directives obsolete or inadequate.

By ensuring your directive reflects your current wishes, you maintain control over your medical care, preventing misunderstandings or unwanted interventions.

This proactive approach empowers you to align your end-of-life preferences with your values and circumstances, easing decision-making for loved ones during challenging times.

Regular updates also foster open communication with healthcare providers, facilitating a collaborative approach to care that respects your autonomy and ensures your wishes are honored effectively.

Best Time to Add Allergies to your Health Care Directive

The best time to get a health care directive and add information about your allergies is now. Regardless of age or health status. Unexpected medical emergencies can arise at any moment, making it crucial to have your wishes documented in advance.

By creating a directive early, you ensure that your preferences are known and respected, providing peace of mind for both you and your loved ones.

Procrastination can lead to missed opportunities and added stress during critical moments. Taking proactive steps to plan for your future healthcare empowers you to maintain control over your medical decisions and ensures that your wishes are honored, whatever the circumstance.

Health Care Directives

Estate Attorney Jasper Berg