published Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Phillips: Take medical records on long road trips

by Ellen Phillips

Q: We're planning a long road trip soon. I know to pack an emergency kit in the car, but what about any other medical needs not found within the kit? — Carl Careful

A: Dear Mr. Careful: You're smart to know more than a few Band-Aids and sunscreen go in your medical kit. As I haven't an MD in front of my name, I consulted with a family (doctor) friend who tells me the following items are most important to have on hand when traveling:

• Electronic medical records. Be sure to use a USB drive to store any and all medical info, such as family physician's phone, all meds and doses, allergies and so forth. In the event of a problem, this little device could literally save your life.

• Benadryl. Take these 25-milligram tabs with you to relive congestion, seasonable and food allergies (nonlife-threatening), bug bites and rashes. My buddy tells me this medicine also can double as a sleep aid and can prevent motion sickness.

• Naproxen. Used as a pain reliever, naproxen is more effective than either acetaminophen or ibuprofen; plus, the benefits last longer.

• Johnson and Johnson First Aid waterproof tape. Use the tape to dress wounds and to splint broken fingers and toes. Take it a step further to fix torn clothing, tents, sleeping bags and suitcases. (I've used the tape before to strap a torn suitcase and it worked great!)

• Antacids with calcium. Because on vacation we tend to eat foods with which our diet isn't familiar and to perhaps drink more, the antacid helps both heartburn and indigestion.

• Water, food (peanut butter is perfect), and "space" blankets for warmth. It's always a smart idea to prepare in case you get stranded on the road.

about Ellen Phillips...

Ellen Phillips is a retired English teacher who has written two consumer-oriented books. Her Consumer Watch column appears on Saturdays in the Business section of the paper. An expanded version is at under Local Business.

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
ChrisC said...

Inside the USB drive or one more document that I might bring is a visitor insurance or health insurance records. In the case where I might be hospitalised and not carrying enough cash with me, the medical personnel need to know that I am covered, and so they will not deny me any medical procedures that I might need.

May 24, 2012 at 4:56 a.m.
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