This is what I call my Hospital survival kit. Always packed and on standby 24/7, my HSK is a small carry bag I keep in my bedroom, that’s filled with everything I might need for a hospital stay.

If (or when) I get sick and have to go to the hospital, all I have to do is grab the bag and GO!

hospital survival kit

When you spend as much time in the slammer as I do, there are certain essentials you’re going to need to make your stay a little more bearable.

So what do I have in my HSK ?

*Introduction note: (See this earlier post for more details), but basically it’s a note from your personal physician summarizing your medical condition.

*List of medications: Since I’m probably not gonna be able to do a lot of talking to the triage nurse or the doctors, a pre-written list of all my medications comes in really handy.

*Extra clothing : Underwear, t-shirt , Socks etc.

*Toiletries: A few of the things that can make you feel like a human again, especially if you’ve been on the ventilator for a few days , are some clean underwear, a shave, a shampoo , some deodorant, and of course some good oral care help.

*Extra inhalers: As crazy as it sounds, an extra albuterol inhaler is an essential part of the HSK. Even though you’re in the hospital, it can sometimes take too long to get a PRN neb treatment. I can’t tell you how many times having my inhaler, saved me from crashing. ( If you carry one, my advise is not to tell them or they might confiscate it.)

*Phone and Charger: Hospitals can be very lonely places. Not to mention the hospital room phones can be pretty gross. My cell phone or computer is often my only connection to the outside world. Since I’m sometimes too short of breath to talk, texting is the way to go. And of course the camera is useful for blogging purposes ( as we all know).

* Pencil and paper: If you have a breathing problems, or wanna remember peoples name, or just wanna be able to fill out the food menu without tracking down a nurse, these simple items can be very useful. If you end up on bipap or a ventilator, they’re absolutely essential (unless you’re good with sign language.).

* Credit card and cash: Hospitals are more like prisons than you might think. It’s always good to have a credit card or a little cash on hand, in case you need to buy something.

So, what do y’all carry in YOUR Hospital Survival Kits?

medication list

Hospital Intro Letter

Here we a have medication list, contacts and a summary of my medical history

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18 thoughts on “Hospital survival Kit, don’t leave home without it.

  1. kerri says:

    Hey lovely,

    Here's hoping you turn around on this one and DON'T have to use that thing for awhile.

    Love you, Epic Steve <3

    1. Stephen says:

      Thanks you dear, I’m with you on that.

  2. wheezytux says:

    Hey steve,
    I have the same thing. I always have a bag packed that I can grab or someone can pick up for me. I have a few other bits a pieces in mine. I always have a book and a puzzel book. I also ahve my old i pod with audio books loaded on it and a ipod charger. I have some lipbalm as I get such chapped lips with the oxygen mask. I also have some hair stuff….the neb masks and oxygen masks elastic are jsut not good for my hair and i end up with bit sticking up everywhere. So when I feel better my hair always gets done!!!! Otherwise I have everything in it that you do.
    I wonder what other have in their hospital survival kit!!!!
    Hope you dont need to use your kit anytime soon!!!
    Ol x

    1. wheezytux says:

      p.s. I want a yellow inhaler!!!! All our releivers over here are blue!!!! although blue is my favourite colour but yellow is kinda cool!!!!

      1. kerri says:

        I'm with Olive, I want a yellow one too ;-).

      2. They don't have the yellows here anymore either. The in my HSK is from 3 years ago . Ive hardly used it, that's why it's still

  3. MC says:

    Yay for being out of there for 104 days!

    Being a sign language student in college, I find myself naturally starting to sign when my breathing goes downhill, and especially when people don't understand what I say, especially if I'm in the ER, barely able to whisper. However, so far, I've not run across any doctors that know ASL, only professors at school, and fellow students within my major… and Deaf people. So since I'm not Deaf, I don't know if they'd get an interpreter for me if I ever ended up in the hospital on bipap or a ventilator… have you ever heard of this happening instead of using pencil and paper?

    The last time I was in the ER, I grabbed my ipod and headphones(thanks to Kerri), which were a blessing to have while I was there… the RT and doctors said I was the most prepared person in the ER they've ever seen, and I only really had inhaler and aerochamber, ipod, headphones, and ID(my friend happened to have a book to keep her busy). And, because I've been to one hospital's ER more than once at school, I have a "fast pass", and a lot of my health info is stored in that hospital's system there, it makes for a LOT less talking on my part, and way faster check-in.

    1. Stephen says:

      Thanks !

      I’m not sure about other places, but the hospital I usually go to has interpreters and people who know sign language. Id love to listen to my Mp3 player in the Hospital, but usually I’m so out of it, that I wouldn’t be able to use it anyway. And yes, Ive woken up several times with an ET tube in my throat, and having a pad and pencil nearby really helped.

  4. I have a red inhaler, but I have never had a yellow one. I suppose we could always paint them. LOL

    Very good list. I keep something similar. Fortunately, I have not had to be on a ventilator yet, last time in the hospital it was close though.

    on my medication list, I make sure I include dosage information, and instructions on how I am to take them and my drug allergies. Because I have more than just asthma, I also list all my doctors and their contact information. I also have a note that says that because of my breathing difficulty please refer to my lists for all medical information.

    Something else I do, is I have a little bag that all my medications go in, as well as copies of the stuff I mentioned above. With a sharpie, I wrote on the outside of the bag "Medications", and also my various illnesses. I carry it with me everywhere. I have a fear that I will have an asthma attack away from home and not have the things I need.

    In that bag, I also carry release forms for my husband and mother to have access to my medical information, in case I cannot talk for myself. I also have given them a copy of my medication list, illnesses, and contact information for my doctors.

    Fortunately, every time I have had to be hospitalized for my asthma, either my husband or my mother has gone with me. They know me very well so they are very good at making sure I am well taken care of.

    My computer is always a must in the hospital. It keeps me entertained when I am not sleeping.

    1. Stephen says:

      Lol….The yellow one is actually an old albuterol inhaler from the fluorocarbon propellant days. It’s been in my survival bag for 3 years now ( probably out of date).

  5. Emily says:

    Another thing not to forget is your phone charger. Not going to make that mistake again.

  6. I have yellow ones…but I'm pretty sure they are all expired…I also have a few white ones from the old CFC ones floating around, too. Right now, I've got red pro-air ones.

    I don't keep a bag packed…I'm practicing denial right now. BUT, there are things that I always bring with me for planned hospitalizations.

    Lip Balm (hospitals are the driest places on the planet)
    Lotion (for the same reason)
    book/Kindle for me
    books for the small one
    crossword puzzles for me
    workbook/coloring book for the small one
    pad and pen (for writing down instructions/observations)
    cough drops or hard candy (again, driest place on the planet)
    laptop and movies always come too

    I ALWAYS have an updated med list for both my girls in my purse at all times, as well as all the docs and specialists they see…I'm thinking of putting it a memo in my phone too…just in case.

    I should probably put a bag together…I won't be thinking of what I might need, if it comes that I need it, I won't have anything together. Good post, and great list.

  7. Sarah says:

    Having my inhaler with me helped me a lot once, when I was flaring in the ER and they decided to stick me in a room on my own alone with no examination for about fourty minutes (this was when I was in such bad shape my GP decided to send me to the ER by ambulance). I took my inhaler about five times in that fourty minutes, and when they came in and my lungs were finally starting to calm down and my constant coughing had abated, they chalked it up to me having and "anxiety attack" (which they said I had because 1, coughing so badly that I can't speak makes me anxious for some reason, and 2, I was satting well on O2, but they didn't check my sats off O2, which before I was taken in the ambulance was 82%), and then they gave me a long, condescending lecture about how an anxiety attack isn't something to call an ambulance over and ignored my insistence that my GP was the one that called the ambulance, and that I don't get anxiety attacks, and furthermore, I don't think anxiety attacks can make you cough like I was. That is, in a nutshell, why I avoid the local ER like the plague. They're always rude, inconsiderate and treating asthma patients in general (I've spoken to many other asthmatics in the area, and this is the general consensus) like we're a waste of their time. I don't want to put up with that unless I absolutely have to.

    Funny thing is, they're a great ER to go to if you have anything other than asthma. Go figure.

  8. danielle10 says:

    I have one of these all the time, though I haven't needed it for over a year now (YEAH!)
    This sounds kind of vain, but the MAIN reason for my hospital survival kit is so I don't have to send my mom or roommate (depending on where I am) rooting around in my underwear drawer and toiletery kit. What's in mine?
    My MedicAlert card, which has almost all my info on it
    Socks and underwear
    Deoderant, face wash, toothbrush/toothpaste and a few other essentials

    Pretty basic. If I need to head out, I grab my HSK, my wallet, my med bag and go!

    I love your new layout and FEEL BETTER QUICK

  9. Amy says:

    For kids, I'd add a DS or other handheld video game system and, as someone else mentioned, an iPod or other MP3 player. For kids younger than mine, the best entertainment I've found so far is a white board w/dry erase markers. What is it w/kids and markers? I do not know, but it sure made visits w/my kid easier when she was little.

    1. good idea. It's definitely a lifesaver for doctors appointments. Any time we've been overnight, the child life specialist has been great too…in case you don't have anything….they will.

  10. vickyk2209 says:

    I keep a rucksack in my wardrobe and my boyfriend knows where it is and stuff. In it I keep:
    Some Spare PJ's
    A T-shirt
    Spare headphones – Because when I'm in resus, if I don't have my iPod, I've got enough music on my phone and I don't like to be able to hear what's going on around me
    Vaseline – For the sore oxygen chapped lips Grrrr
    Some Spare Change – So I can make the other half bog off for 10mins to get me a drink
    A Book
    A list with all my current meds, health problems and history etc!

    It's a really good idea because it means you're not flapping around looking for stuff when you're already poorly

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