Emergency Planning

Rising temperatures: How to avoid heat-related illnesses and deaths

Hotter summer temperatures and prolonged periods of intense heat can lead to heat-related illness — and even deaths –– particularly in areas known as urban heat islands. People who are elderly and those with existing health problems are especially vulnerable. Know what to do to protect yourself and others.

Epinephrine is the only effective treatment for anaphylaxis

Many people have experienced mild allergic reactions to a food, medication, or other allergen, but a severe reaction can be harmful or even fatal. Anaphylaxis must be treated with epinephrine as quickly as possible, followed by a visit to a hospital emergency room for observation.

When lockdown is not actually safer: Intimate partner violence during COVID-19

Eve Valera, PhD

Contributor

For women living with abusive partners, the COVID-19 pandemic has made an already difficult and dangerous situation even worse. And even if a woman had been thinking about leaving an abusive situation or planning to leave, with current restrictions she may not be able to.

Go to the hospital if you need emergency care, even in the era of COVID-19

Scott Weiner, MD

Contributor

Emergency departments have seen a decline in people seeking care, even for serious conditions such as strokes and heart attacks, out of fear of contracting COVID-19. But delaying treatment in such situations could worsen the outcome, and precautions have been taken to ensure the safety of all patients.

Get your affairs in order, COVID-19 won’t wait

Because COVID-19 can affect people of any age and regardless of their health, it’s advisable to consider preparing advance care planning documents and sharing them with your loved ones and your doctors.

Be careful where you get your news about coronavirus

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

New information about the spread of coronavirus is coming at us seemingly every minute from many sources. But how much of this information is trustworthy? And which sources should you believe?

Hands-only CPR: A lifesaving technique within your reach

For more than a decade, national guidelines have recommended the simpler, hands-only version of CPR for cardiac arrests that occur outside a hospital. Even if you haven’t had a training course, administering CPR keeps blood circulating in a cardiac arrest victim until medical help arrives.

False alarm in Hawaii: Preparing for the unthinkable

While the recent emergency alert in Hawaii was a false alarm, the potential threat of a nuclear strike does serve as a reminder that it’s prudent to make advance preparations for this or some other unexpected event.

Is there a way to lower the cost of an EpiPen?

Celia Smoak Spell

Assistant Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The lifesaving medication contained in an EpiPen is not expensive; the high cost is due mainly to the injector. Competing devices have not been successful so far, and no generic alternative is yet available. Finding ways to mandate that insurance fully cover the medication may not really bring the price down.

Medical alert systems: In vogue, and for some, invaluable

Medical alert devices can be a lifesaver — literally — if you suffer a fall. But not all medical devices are created equal. Here, we’ve listed the most common types and described the pros and cons of each, as well as the important things to consider when deciding which type to purchase.