The Power of Your Choice
Your choice of the IHTC Pharmacy Program directly supports your IHTC team and patient services, and activities provided to the hemophilia community. The IHTC Pharmacy Program provides savings to you and your health insurance plan.
Every patient has the right to choose their clotting factor pharmacy provider. The IHTC supports your right of choice and will assist you in making an informed decision.
Ten Tips to Get the Best Emergency Care
Visiting the emergency department (ED) can be a scary experience, but if you know what to expect and how to communicate with the ED staff, the experience can be less challenging.
To help you get the best results from your ED visit, this webpage explains what you should do in an emergency, what you need to take, and how to talk to and work with the ED staff.
The information on this page is also available as an easy-to-use information sheet. Please review this information sheet and keep it handy.
IHTC’s 10 Tips
Tip #1: Call the IHTC first at 317-871-0000 (toll free: 1-877-256-8837). The IHTC staff will call ahead to the ED staff so that they know you are coming, your diagnosis, the nature of your medical issues and specific needs. This call from the center may help reduce anxiety of ED staff who may not be familiar with treating individuals with bleeding disorders.
Tip #2: Items to take to the ED:
- Factor concentrate if stored at home
- Medication list
- Any medical records you have, including a travel letter, ED wallet card, or comprehensive clinic report
- Insurance information
- Any special medical supplies such as port needles, and
- Patience: Emergencies departments are very busy places, even if they do not seem crowded to you. There may be very ill patients requiring immediate attention. Your medical issues are important but remember that EDs are required to triage (prioritize) patients so that the most critical are treated first.
It may be helpful to keep many of these supplies in a bag that is easy to grab in case of an emergency.
Tip #3: Provide information about your specific needs. In most cases, you will be more knowledgeable about your bleeding disorder than the ED staff. Remember you live with this disorder every day and the ED staff may see very few individuals with bleeding disorders. This does not mean that the ED staff is not competent, only that you should provide information about your disorder and explain your specific needs.
Tip #4: Remember EDs have to prioritize patients. Keep in mind that there may be other patient emergencies in the ED such as individuals with a heart attack or stroke – these patients may take priority over your issue.
Tip #5: Stay calm and treat the staff as you wish to be treated. Being confrontational or emotional sets a negative tone. Offering to help and being friendly gets the best results. If you are not seen promptly, politely ask the nursing staff if the ED is backed up and how long your wait may be.
Tip #6: Bring your own factor if possible to avoid mistakes. If the ED supplies your factor then have them show you the box and mix it in front of you.
Tip #7: Ask the ED staff if they have spoken to the IHTC before you are treated. This avoids being sent home without an appropriate follow-up treatment plan or a required test.
Tip #8: Remember to pretreat if needed. The majority of invasive procedures require pretreatment with factor concentrate. An exception would include a venipuncture for drawing blood.
Tip #9: Be prepared for a long visit. Emergency department visits may take several hours. Take something to do while you are waiting if you are well enough.
Tip #10: Tell us how it went. If you have a negative experience, please report this to the IHTC so that we can determine how it should be addressed. Some issues to consider include:
- What in your opinion did not go well?
- Was it a specific person problem or a system problem?
The IHTC can offer services to your ED tailored to address specific issues and avoid future problems.
What is a Travel Letter?
This letter confirms your diagnoses, treatment product and regimen. It also contains specific information about the mixing and administration of factor concentrate. The letter is signed by your physician and includes contact information for the treatment center. If you do not have a travel letter, please contact the center.
Emergency Care Reference Manual
This online manual (www.hemophiliaemergencycare.com) is for ED personnel who need to initiate hemophilia treatment in the ED. The manual contains recommendations and guidelines for factor dosages. Because these recommendations are specific to each treatment center, the online manual also contains contact information for each HTC, so ED staff can ask the professionals at the patient’s HTC about specific issues related to bleeding episodes and treatment.
What is an ED Wallet Card?
This card lists the Emergency Care Reference Manual website. The back of the card should be filled out with your name, diagnosis, severity and the IHTC’s contact information. These cards are available through the center.
Remember: Always call the IHTC (317-871-0000; Toll Free: 1-877-256-8837) before an emergency visit so the center can call the ED with your information before your arrival.